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Israel and the UN:

Did you know?

United NationsIsrael

Just to start....

As we all know, the United Nations had always been under the influence of America (see The USA and the UN), which was, and still is, an important ally of Israel (see Israel and the United States).

Israel is the only country in history to be recognized conditionally by the UN in 1949. The conditions for being recognized were:
bullet to solve the problem of the Palestinian refugees (at that time there were only 750,000 refugees, now there are over 3 million in refugee camps)
bulletto return the land it had captured during the 1948 war with the Arabs (by the end of the war, Israel's size increased from 54% of Palestine to 78%)

Until now, the above 2 conditions were never achieved and yet, Israel was accepted by the UN.

Ever since 1948, more than 300 UN Resolutions by the Security Council were not obeyed by Israel and about twice as much Resolutions by the General Assembly were also ignored by the Zionist state.

It is true that many Israeli writers had described the UN as "anti-Semitic" or "anti-Jewish" because there were many Resolutions against Israel. However, Israel was never obliged to obey those Resolutions.


1917: British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour promised that Britain would support the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

Balfour Declaration

1920: Although the Arabs were supposed to gain independence as they were promised by the British as a reward for fighting against the Turks, the Treaty of Sevres after World War I decided to give Palestine to Britain as a mandate.

1922: The League of Nations (the old version of the UN) approved the British mandate. The mandate entrusted Great Britain with administering Palestine and with assisting the Jewish people in "reconstituting their national home in that country."

1936-1939: As Jewish immigration to Palestine increased and Jewish settlement spread, Arab opposition to British rule and to Zionism grew. During the mandate several nationalist uprisings culminated in a general Arab revolt that was finally suppressed by British troops on the eve of World War II.






Jewish refugee ship being sent back from Palestine to Cyprus by British soldiers

1939-1945: Jews began to demand an independent nation. In Palestine the Yishuv was galvanized in opposition to the British mandatory authorities to support illegal immigration of refugees from war-torn Europe. By the end of the war most of the Yishuv was in revolt against Great Britain.

1947: Great Britain decided to leave Palestine and called on the United Nations (UN) to make recommendations.

1947: In response, the UN convened its first special session, and on November 29, 1947, it adopted a plan calling for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN control; the Jewish and Arab states would be joined in an economic union. The resolution had given the Jews, who had comprised 30% of the population, 54% of the land. The partition resolution was agreed by a vote of 33 to 13, supported by the United States and the Soviet Union. The British didn't vote.

1947-1948: In Palestine, Arab protests against partition erupted in violence, with attacks on Jewish settlements that soon led to a full-scale civil war. The British were intent on leaving the country no later than August 1, 1948, the date in the partition plan for termination of the mandate, and generally refused to intervene.

1948:When it became clear that the British intended to leave by May 15, leaders of the Yishuv decided to implement the part of the partition plan calling for establishment of a Jewish state. In Tel Aviv on May 14 the Provisional State Council, formerly the National Council, "representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the World Zionist Movement," proclaimed the "establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Israel (the State of Israel) open to the immigration of Jews from all the countries of their dispersion."

1949: Although Israel had more land than the UN decided to give it, and although the UN ordered it to allow the 750,000 Palestinian refugees to return (and Israel refused), the United Nations recognized Israel.


1940s or 1950s: The United Nations sent a Swedish priest to try to create peace in the region. He was assassinated by an Israeli extremist.

1956: Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt and tried to invade the Suez Canal, which was nationalized by Egypt. Many people in Britain and France and many countries in the world opposed the British and French. With the USA and the USSR voting against Britain, the UN security counsil ordered Britain, France and Israel to withdraw. The conflict ended with UN Peacekeeping Forces in Egypt. However, Israel refused to allow any UN Forces on its territory.

Suez Canal blocked, 1956

1967: The UN ordered Israel to withdraw from the territories it had invaded. Until now, the Israelis didn't withdraw and it wasn't punished by the UN (thanks to America). Their excuse was that they needed security by expanding in size. How could security improve by imperialism if this would provoke Arabs and would lead to more attacks and hostility against Israel?

"1. Israel to withdraw from territories occupied during the Six-Day War.
2. ....recognition of the sovereignty, territory and independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries."UN Resolution, November 1967


1968: A Jewish extremist tried to burn Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. He wasn't punished by Israel. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), an organization which is supposed to look after any cultural or religious monuments, didn't do anything.

1971: George Bush No. 1, when he was the U.N. ambassador, back in 1971, he officially reiterated Washington's condemnation of Israel's actions in the occupied territories.  He happened to be referring specifically to occupied Jerusalem.  In his words, actions in violation of the provisions of international law governing the obligations of an occupying power, namely Israel.  He criticized Israel's failure "to acknowledge its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as its actions which are contrary to the letter and spirit of this Convention."

That Convention is no minor affair.  It's one of the core principles of international law.  It was established in 1949, to formally criminalize the actions, the practices, of the Nazis in occupied Europe.  Well, George Bush's condemnation of Israeli practices in violation of international law, as the occupying power, that expressed official US policy at that time.  However, by that time, late 1971, a divergence was developing, between official policy and practice.  The fact of the matter is that by then, by late 1971, the United States was already providing the means to implement the violations that Ambassador Bush deplored.  It was backing what had happened in that year. So America was saying one thing and doing another.

Al Aqsa mosque

1974: PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) leader, Yasser Arafat  turned to diplomacy. He was welcomed by the United Nations and announced that he wanted peace.
Arafat and PLO

1975: By that time, the majority of African and Asian states were hostile to the new state of Israel. In 1975, the General Assembly denounced Israel's policy towards the Arabs in occupied territories as 'racist'.

1975: The ILO (International Labour Organization) said that any occupation of territory was a violation of human rights and trade union rights and condemned Israel's actions. As a result, the USA withdrew from the ILO saying that the agency had acted beyond the purposes for which it had been set up.

1975-1991: Zionism has been repeatedly denounced by the Arab nations and their supporters as a "tool of imperialism." In 1975, the UN adopted a resolution equating Zionism with racism; in 1991, the General Assembly voted 111 to 25 for repeal. For their part Zionists have emphasized that their movement has never rejected Arab self-determination and that the fundamental meaning of Zionism has been the national liberation of the Jewish people.

1976: A group of Arab-Israelis were killed after a peaceful demonstration protesting against the Israelis who kicked them out of their homes and farms to give space for Jews to live.

1977: Menachem Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He allowed Jewish nationalist and religious groups to settle in the West Bank, which was invaded in 1967, in areas of good land left by Palestinians when they fled from the Israeli army. The Israelis continue until today building Jewish settlements after destroying Palestinian farms and houses. The 1993 Oslo agreement prevented it from constructing more settlements. The UN just couldn't punish Israel.

Menachem Begin

1982: Israelis and their Lebanese allies in the Lebanese civil war massacred Palestinians in refugee camps at Sabra and Chatilla. Thousands were killed. Many people around the world, and even in Israel, were disgusted by this crime. The Israeli government decided to punish the leader of the massacre, Ariel Sharon (who is now leader of Israel), by preventing him from joining the army again. He wasn't even sent to prison. The UN watched.

Ariel Sharon

1990s: A UN report said that there are now 3 million Palestinian refugees kicked out from their homes (let alone those who are now living in other countries). Israel says that the Palestinians were free to stay. Why would someone decide to leave his home by free will and live in refugee camps with appalling conditions? The Palestinians say that they were driven out as Jews took over their homes and farms. Israel says that the Arab countries should look after the refugees. Why didn't the European countries look after the Jewish refugees in the 1930s since the Europeans were the ones who treated them badly? The Arabs say that they are too poor (most Arab nations are too poor to look after their own people; there are millions unemployed in their own nations). The UN should solve the problem because it was the UN which offered Israeli independence. 53 years have passed and the refugees are still there!!!

1996: The General Secretary of the UN, Butrus Ghali demanded a report to be written on the Qana massacre committed by Israel against a UN centre in South Lebanon where innocent civilians were killed. As a result, the USA decided to sack him. Although the General Assembly refused to sack him, America used its veto (the right to change a UN decision) to do so.

2000: Mary Robinson, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, faced an assassination attempt by Israel. The Israelis denied it. Later, she accused Israel of human rights violations.

Mary Robinson

2001: America vetoed (prevented) the UN decision to send a peacekeeping force to Palestine to protect the Palestinians. Human rights team around the world accused America. The 3-member team, which published a report on human rights violations in the occupied territories, said pressure had to come down on Israel from other international institutions. The report said that it was beyond dispute that Israeli security forces had used "excessive and disproportionate force" since the eruption of violence in Palestine.

"I think it is up to the citizens, particularly of democratic countries, to put pressure on their own governments to pursue a morally and legally responsible foreign policy. We hope our report contributes to this process."

Richard Falk of the USA

The report also called on authorities in all states to halt any action tantmount to extrajudicial executions.

"These extrajudicial executions have been endorsed at the highest level of Israeli government by the preceding Prime Minister, Barak, and indirectly by the sent Prime Minister, Sharon."

Richard Falk of the USA

2002: A massacre was believed to have been committed by the Israeli soldiers in Jenin refugee camp. The USA had threatened to veto (prevent) any UN Security Council resolution to investigate (and would have therefore concluded) whether or not the Jenin massacre had occurred. However, the Security Council did manage to order a fact-finding mission (just to find facts and not conclude) for the Jenin camp. At first, Israel agreed and claimed that it had nothing to hide. But when the members of the the fact-finding mission were announced, Israel refused and said that some of them were anti-Israeli (including Terry Larsson who had already been to Palestine and had described the Israeli acts as crimes). After days of negotiations between the UN and Israel, Kofi Anaan (the General Secretary of the UN) simply came out to announce the end of the fact-finding mission because, as Anaan claimed, Israeli could not co-operate with the team. No punishment whatsoever!

NOTE: Jenin is, theoretically, under the control Palestinian Authority according to the 1993 Oslo Treaty. Therefore, theoretically, Israel shouldn't have interfered with fact-finding mission as it was not entering Israeli land.

ALSO NOTE: At the same time, Iraq had faced economic sanctions and military attacks by the UN, the USA and the UK, because it had kicked out weapons investigators after they had stayed on Iraqi soil for 7 years. On the other hand, Israel had not even agreed to an investigation, and did not allow a fact-finding mission to land on an area, theoretically out of its control, for one second- let alone 7 years. LOOK AT THE EQUALITY!!


MS Encarta 

Making History by Christopher Culpin

History to GCSE

Chomsky Talk For Middles East Children's Alliance by Noam Chomsky