Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan has urged member states not to participate in an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba ("Day of Catastrophe"), set to take place on Tuesday the General Assembly Hall.
The event would present the establishment of the Jewish state as a “disaster.” The UN resolution that allowed it to pass last year with the support of 90 countries which voted in favor. Israel and the United States were among the 30 counties that voted against it, along with Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands and others.
In recent months, the Israeli UN envoy tried to convince countries not to take part and has seen some success, according to the Israeli mission to the UN.
The ambassador noted that "any country that attends the Nakba conference bears the responsibility of destroying chances of reconciliation, because it is a conference of hatred and incitement, which contradicts the UN resolution which supported the establishment of a Jewish state. Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas will present the establishment of the Jewish state as a ‘disaster’.”
“The Nakba event distorts the well known facts that Arabs and Palestinians who lived in the land were the ones who rejected the UN resolution and started a war. They brought their situation upon themselves because of their hatred and support for murder and terrorism,” Erdan added.
’Nakba Day’ means the ‘day of the catastrophe’ in Arabic, and specifically refers to the establishment of the State of Israel. The Palestinians commemorate it as a festival of grievance and protest.
They lament the displacement of around 700,000 Palestinians who lived in the territory of British mandatory Palestine, while ignoring the circumstances that led to their tragedy. On May 15, 1948, a military coalition of Arab states waged war against the newly-found Jewish state and invaded it, along with the Palestinians.
The ‘Nakba’ narrative also overlooks the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from what became the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. In addition, during and after Israel’s War of Independence, around 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries, even persecuted in some.
In a letter to UN member states, Erdan wrote: “The thought that an international organization could mark the establishment of one of its member states as a catastrophe or disaster is both appalling and repulsive. This event is a blatant attempt to distort history, neglecting the fact that those who paint themselves as the victims were actually the aggressors who initiated a five-front war on the newly established State of Israel.”
“Those who attend one-sided hypocritical initiatives, such as the abominable event taking place on May 15, only serve to promote the antisemitic practice of holding the Jewish state to a different standard than any other member state. Not only does this condone Jew-hatred, but it also gives a green-light to the Palestinians to continue exploiting international organs to promote their libelous narrative.”
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.