Shamelessness at the UN
by Salim Mansur
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the assembled representatives of the UN member states in New York this week, "Have you no shame? No decency?"
The answer is no. For in inviting once again holocaust-denier and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly, the majority of member states confirmed how greatly anti-Semitism is now institutionalized at the UN.
Only a few representatives led by Canadian delegates, walked out on Ahmadinejad's speech and, thereby, "stood up for moral clarity" in Netanyahu's words.
But finding moral clarity in the UN, as surely Netanyahu and his people know, would be as rare as stumbling upon a virgin in a brothel.
It is no secret that the UN culture is soaked in the world's oldest and most persistent bigotry against one people, the Jews. This bigotry was given official expression – "Zionism is racism" – in the notorious General Assembly resolution 3379 of November 1975, and while the resolution was eventually revoked in 1991 the bigotry remains entrenched at the UN.
Behind the cover of supporting Arab-Palestinian rights in historic Palestine anti-Semites everywhere, given new lease after the Holocaust by anti-Jewish bigotry from the Arab-Muslim world, are joined together to cause irreparable injury to Israel. They have succeeded this far in bending the UN to become complicit in their evil purpose.
Any decent human being, including Muslims, should ask the simple question what is the basis of Arab claims to historic Palestine with Jerusalem as its political and spiritual centre? The answer is transparently simple.
Arab rights to historic Palestine rest on the force of arms and military conquest. But what is garnered by sword may also be taken away by sword.
If the claim is to be justified on the basis that Arabs and Muslims (Ottoman Turks) held on to historic Palestine for more than a millennium between 637 and 1918 – save for the period 1099-1187 when the Christian Crusaders took Jerusalem from Arab rulers – then for a period far exceeding that of Arab-Muslim rule this territory was inseparable from Jewish history.
The Arab-Muslim claim to Jerusalem and historic Palestine on religious grounds is an invention with no basis in Islam's sacred text, the Qur'an. The only religious claim sanctioned by the Qur'an is for Mecca as Islam's temporal centre, while Jerusalem indisputably was and remains exclusively the holy city for Jews.
Two years after Sir Arthur Balfour signed the declaration bearing his name promising to Jews Britain's assistance in establishing their home in historic Palestine, he wrote: "The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land."
Balfour was right in 1919, and he would be right today if the West had not gone wobbly and its leaders not lost their sense of history, morality and obligation to Jews to whom they, and much of the world where decency may still matter, owe immensely for wrongs done to them.
A shameless UN, however, cannot advance justice or lay the grounds for peace in Palestine.