Israel’s imposed legitimacy is under grim challenge

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November 23, 2018

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By Ranjan Solomon

The creation of the State of Israel will always be judged an unjust agreement imposed on Palestinians by the United Nations in 1947. The agreement came through the UN system when decolonization had not even started and the UN was, for most part, a club of western nations and a relatively smaller number of so-called Third World nations.

Western nations had their own reasons to make the award to Israel. Mostly, it was guilt stemming from the holocaust. The conception of an independent Arab and a Jewish State with a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem was a losing proposition to resolve the conflicting objectives and claims of two competing movements, Palestinian nationalism and Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. Arab leaders argued that it violated the principles of national self-determination in the UN Charter which granted people the right to decide their own destiny.

Immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru spoke with anger and contempt for the way the UN vote had been lined up. He said the Zionists had tried to bribe India with millions of dollars and that Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, the Indian ambassador to the UN, had received daily warnings that her life was in danger unless “she voted right”. Several other countries also voted against the partition agreement arguing that it violated the principle of sovereignty and right to self-determination.

In 1948 the Palestinian exodus, also known as the al-Nakbah, literally “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), occurred when about half of pre-war Palestine’s Arab population – fled or were expelled from their homes, during the Arab-Israeli war. The Nakba continues to this day in multiple ways in more horrendous, and brutal ways than in 1948. In its accumulated arrogance Israel has come to live in a make-believe world that suggests it is invincible. But the illegitimacy of its very foundations, and its exploitative and devious ways of land theft, disrespect for human dignity, international law, human rights, has sparked resentment all around. Israel is a global recluse.

In this issue of Palestine Updates, Ramzy Baroud describes this predicament in a profound article: “The Tide is turning: Israel Is Losing on two War Fronts”. He avers that all the power and money in the world cannot reverse the waves of justice now flowing in favour of Palestinians. The precise time for liberation may not have arrived. But it will – sooner than later! This week alone we have news from Airbnb removing settlements from its listings, the Quakers in Britain are now the first church in the UK to suspend investing its centrally-held funds in companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine. There is the popular decision of Canadian Federation of Students to endorse BDS. Importantly; we also have news about a global South view on Israelis’ colonization. The call from a large collective of Nigerian Muslim activists calling for boycott of Israel is an equally powerful message.

Israel’s isolation is present and emergent at multiple levels and manifold political spaces.

Indeed the tide is turning!

Ranjan Solomon

22 November 2018






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