The UN Is Last Hurdle Before Israel Can Rid Itself Of The Palestinians

With Trump in the White House, a crisis-plagued Europe ever-more toothless and the Arab world in disarray, Netanyahu wants to seize this chance to clear the UN out of the way too.
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    A Palestinian man tries to stop work by an Israeli bulldozer during a protest outside the village of Deir Qaddis, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Dozens of Palestinians demonstrated Wednesday in front of Israeli bulldozers that were bulldozing land outside Deir Qaddis village near Ramallah for an apparent plan to expand a nearby Jewish settlement. The protesters forced the bulldozers to stop, but residents said they resumed work after the protesters left the area.

    A Palestinian man tries to stop work by an Israeli bulldozer on a new Jew-sh-only settlement, during a protest outside the village of Deir Qaddis, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 13, 2016.


    Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They hope to demote the Palestinian issue to a footnote in international diplomacy.

    The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations. Her escort was Danny Danon, her Israeli counterpart and a fervent opponent of Palestinian statehood.

    Danon makes Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu look moderate. He has backed Israel annexing the West Bank and ruling over Palestinians apartheid-style. Haley appears unperturbed. During a meeting with Netanyahu, she told him that the UN was “a bully to Israel”. She has warned the powerful Security Council to focus on Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah, instead of Israel.

    To protect its tiny ally, Washington is threatening to cut billions in US funding to the world body, plunging it into crisis and jeopardizing peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

    Related: Nikki Haley: UN Report ‘Reeks Of Anti-Israel Bias’

    On the way to Israel, Haley stopped at the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva, demanding it end its “pathological” opposition to Israel’s decades of occupation and human rights violations – or the US would pull out of the agency.

    Washington has long pampered Israel, giving it millions of dollars each year to buy weapons to oppress Palestinians, and using its veto to block UN resolutions enforcing international law. Expert UN reports such as a recent one on Israel’s apartheid rule over Palestinians have been buried.

    But worse is to come. Now the framework of international laws and institutions established after the Second World War is at risk of being dismembered.

    That danger was highlighted on Sunday, when it emerged that Netanyahu had urged Haley to dismantle another UN agency much loathed by Israel. UNRWA cares for more than five million Palestinian refugees across the region.

    Since the 1948 war, Israel has refused to allow these refugees to return to their lands, now in Israel, forcing them to live in miserable and overcrowded camps awaiting a peace deal that never arrives. These dispossessed Palestinians still depend on UNRWA for education, health care and social services.

    UNRWA, Netanyahu says, “perpetuates” rather than solves their problems. He prefers that they become the responsibility of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which looks after all other refugee populations.

    Related: Author Of UN Israel Apartheid Report Target Of Fierce Smear Campaign 

    His demand is a monumental U-turn, 70 years in the making. In fact, it was Israel that in 1948 insisted on a separate UN refugee agency for the Palestinians.

    UNRWA was created to prevent the Palestinians falling under the charge of UNHCR’s forerunner, the International Refugee Organisation. Israel was afraid that the IRO, formed in the immediate wake of the Second World War, would give Palestinian refugees the same prominence as European Jews fleeing Nazi atrocities.

    Israel did not want the two cases compared, especially as they were so intimately connected. It was the rise of Nazism that bolstered the Zionist case for a Jewish state in Palestine and Jewish refugees who were settled on lands from which Palestinians had just been expelled by Israel.

    Also, Israel was concerned that the IRO’s commitment to the principle of repatriation might force it to accept back the Palestinian refugees.

    Israel’s hope then was precisely that UNRWA would not solve the Palestinian refugee problem; rather, it would resolve itself. The idea was encapsulated in a Zionist adage: “The old will die and the young forget.”

    But millions of Palestinian descendants still clamor for a right of return. If they cannot forget, Netanyahu prefers that the world forget them.

    As bloody wars grip the Middle East, the best way to achieve that aim is to submerge the Palestinians among the world’s 65 million other refugees. Why worry about the Palestinian case when there are millions of Syrians newly displaced by war?

    But UNRWA poses a challenge because it is so deeply entrenched in the region and insists on a just solution for Palestinian refugees.

    UNRWA’s huge staff includes 32,000 Palestinian administrators, teachers and doctors, many living in camps in the West Bank – Palestinian territory Netanyahu and Danon hunger for. The UN’s presence there is an impediment to annexation.

    On Monday Netanyahu announced his determination to block Europe from funding Israeli human rights organizations, the main watchdogs in the West Bank and a key data source for UN agencies. He now refuses to meet any world leader who talks to these rights groups.

    With Trump in the White House, a crisis-plagued Europe ever-more toothless and the Arab world in disarray, Netanyahu wants to seize this chance to clear the UN out of the way too.

    Today, Netanyahu is prepared to risk it all, tearing down the post-war international order, if this act of colossal vandalism will finally rid him of the Palestinians.

    Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is  He also writes for CounterPunch, where this editorial first appeared.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

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    • tapatio


    • tapatio

      According to surveys published in various (Jewish owned) US media, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz (Israeli liberal paper), the ADL and many Jewish anti-Zionist organizations and experts, between 65 and 85% of the world’s 14+ million Jews support Zionism, Israel and their behaviors. From having been once involved with a US synagogue and what I am told by Jews in BDS, I know that most US synagogues are heavily involved in Zionism.

      The US banking industry supports Zionism/Israel through its corruption of Congress and the White House. That industry is predominantly Jewish controlled.

      More than 95% of the US mainstream media is owned by six corporations, all with controlling interest in the hands of Jews. Rupert Murdoch was raised as a Jew, whatever he may be now – other than sleaze. The US mainstream media never publishes the truth about Palestine or the Middle East.

      There are 1300 Billionaires on Earth, owning 94% of all the world’s wealth. Seven point five billion humans share the remaining 6%.
      Jews comprise two-tenths (.2%) of one percent of the world’s population. Yet, SEVEN HUNDRED, TWO (702 = 52%) OF THE WORLD’S BILLIONAIRES ARE JEWS.

      Jews comprise two-tenths of one percent of the world population and two percent of the US population. Yet, they make up more than 85% of America’s white collar criminals (with takes over $10M) in the last 30 years.

      Jews traditionally give the least, of all religious/cultural groups, to charitable causes/disaster relief/etc. Their donations are normally geared to having a program or facility named after them or being listed as donors.

      There are many INDIVIDUAL Jews who are quite admirable. Einstein, Salk and many other Jews have made significant contributions to humanity. My BDS group of just over 1200 has more than 100 Jews as members, though few of those Jews want to be seen as supporting BDS because they say they will be ostracized from their synagogues, families, social groups.

      The Jews have been expelled from more than 100 countries over the last 2000 years. To my knowledge, 79 of those expulsions were preceded by periods of growing Jewish crime, corruption, treachery and barbarity I could find evidence on these 79.. The rest are more ambiguous, with no reliable confirmation of the accusations against the Jews.

      Hitler rose to power for ONE reason – the Rothschild Cartel’s rape of Germany after WW I. The Rothschild Banking Cartel is a predominantly Jewish organization. Without their stripping of all German assets after that war and the resulting starvation of millions of Germans, Hitler could never have gained traction with the people and close to 100 million lives would have been spared.

      By comparison to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other world religions/ethnic groups, Judaism has, throughout its history, been an overall negative influence on humanity.

    • TecumsehUnfaced

      It’s weird observing a psychopath like Nikki Haley call anybody else pathological. She works for the most pathological thugdoms on Earth, the ZioNazi Thugdom and the Potomac Thugdom.

    • Dayija Dayi

      The UN has become a joke controlled by Israeli supporting veto holding Zionist controlled countries, as Erdogan said the world is bigger than the 5 permanent members of the security council! UN needs urgent reform.