Today Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will formally request the United Nations General Assembly to vote on Palestine’s application for observer member state status.
This comes exactly 65 years to the day after the General Assembly voted to partition Palestine between its native inhabitants and new Jewish immigrants.
On 29 November 1947 guilt-ridden Westerners, the Soviet Union and a bunch of newly independent vassal states voted in favour of granting 55 per cent of historical Palestine to European Jews. The vote to divide Palestine was originally planned for 26 November. However, the sponsors failed to garner the two-thirds majority to pass the resolution, so the meeting was postponed by three days.
Several nations spoke of pressure orchestrated by the Zionist Organization (ZO) – the precursor to the World Zionist Organization – in New York to get them to switch their vote.
The ZO headquarters were established in Berlin at the turn of the 20th century. At the time, Germany represented the centre of European power and the country with the greatest influence over the Ottoman Empire, which had control over Palestine.
Philippines’ representative, General Carlos Romulo, warned the UN not to embrace “a policy which is clearly repugnant to the valid nationalist aspirations of the people of Palestine”. Following pressure from the US, he was recalled and the Philippines’s vote changed.
After its victory in World War I Great Britain became the new centre of power and the Mandate Authority over Palestine. The ZO abandoned Berlin and moved to London. World War II propelled the US to a new pre-eminence on the world stage. Predictably, ZO made New York its new home.
From its new headquarters the ZO succeeded in enlisting 26 senators, many with strong influence on foreign bills, to send a telegram, urging wavering nations to support the partition plan.
Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru expressed frustrations with Zionist attempts to buy India’s vote. The Liberian ambassador to Washington spoke of threats to cut US aid. Philippines’ representative, General Carlos Romulo, warned the UN not to embrace “a policy which is clearly repugnant to the valid nationalist aspirations of the people of Palestine”. Following pressure from the US, he was recalled and the Philippines’s vote changed.
After guaranteeing a favourable vote, the 56 General Assembly members met on 29 November. Thirty-three countries supported partition, 12 opposed, 10 abstained and one absent.
After 65 years of being stateless and more than 20 years of serpentine negotiations, the Palestinians are seeking UN recognition on less than 22 per cent of historical Palestine.
The General Assembly has changed dramatically since 1947. The organization today is about four times larger. To be admitted to the UN, a new state must receive support from more than 127 nations.
…the USA’s fruitless opposition for Palestine’s membership will go down in the annals of history – along with the ill-treatment of native Americans and slavery – as one of the most abominable and darkest eras in American history.
But one thing remained unchanged. The Israeli lobby is again using the US Congress to blackmail the international community to block Palestine’s admission at the UN.
To that end, the World Zionist Organization’s lobbying arm – the ZO changed its name in 1960 – coerced Congress to pass special law (22 USC 287e) prohibiting US funding “for the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states”.
Last September a US communique warned European countries that granting observer status to Palestinians will force the US to stop “financial support for the Palestinian Authority”.
It is almost certain PA is poised to get the two-thirds majority for seat number 194 at the UN.
A year ago, the Israeli proxy US veto at the Security Council delayed the inevitable course of history for one year.
Today, however, the USA’s fruitless opposition for Palestine’s membership will go down in the annals of history – along with the ill-treatment of native Americans and slavery – as one of the most abominable and darkest eras in American history.
A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News. The version here is published by permission of Jamal Kanj.