The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted to adopt a pro-Palestinian resolutions, including to commemorate the “Nakba,” a step welcomed by Palestine and slammed by Israel.
The UN resolution calls for a “commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, including by organizing a high-level event at the General Assembly Hall” in May 2023. It also urges the “dissemination of relevant archives and testimonies.”
Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, Tunisia, Yemen and the Palestinians sponsored the initiative, which passed by a vote of 90 in favor, 30 against and 47 abstentions.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the step is considered a UN recognition of Palestine’s tragedy that led to the displacement of Palestinians, most of who became refugees in the diaspora or repressed by the apartheid regime and colonialism.
The vote is a step towards acknowledging the historical injustice that befell the Palestinian people.
The vote in favor of the resolutions indicates the international consensus on the Palestinian cause and the right of the Palestinian people to live in freedom and dignity, their right to self-determination, the independence of the State of Palestine, and the return of refugees.
The Assembly also adopted the “Peaceful settlement of the Palestine cause,” the “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat,” the “Special information program on the Palestinian cause of the Department of Global Communications of the Secretariat,” and the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.”
The resolutions adopted infuriated Israel. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, slammed the vote, asking delegates at the General Assembly, “What would you say if the international community celebrated the establishment of your country as a disaster (the meaning of Nakba in Arabic)? What a disgrace,” he added.
Erdan claimed that “a completely false story about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been told for 75 years in the UN building. They tell a story about the Palestinian refugees, which of course disregards the Jewish Nakba, which is the real Nakba.”
Israel, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the US were among the countries that voted against.
Ukraine did not vote. Kyiv sparked a diplomatic spat with Jerusalem by voting in favor of an anti-Israel resolution earlier this month.
“This year regrettably marked 55 years since the illegal Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories in 1967,” the assembly said.
“This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the General Assembly’s adoption of the resolution 181 (II) partitioning Mandate Palestine and the 74th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba that tragically befell the Palestinian people.”
The partition plan adopted by the General Assembly in 1947 called for independent Jewish and Arab states in what was then British-controlled Mandatory Palestine.
Jewish representatives accepted the plan, but the Arab world rejected it and launched the 1948 war.
Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said at the event: “We are at the end of the road for the two-state solution. Either the international community summons the will to act decisively or it will let peace die passively. Passively, not peacefully.”
He called on the international community to pressure Israel, for the UN to grant the Palestinians full recognition and for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.