UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s statement marking International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People could not debase itself much further. Guterres calls for “all actors… to take bold steps and restore faith in the promise of UN General Assembly Resolution 181,” also known as the UN Partition Plan for Palestine. In other words, he is calling for international solidarity with the UN’s contribution to the creation of Israel’s colonial presence in Palestine.
According to Guterres, this annual solidarity day “reminds us of our collective, unfinished task of resolving the question of Palestine.” On a day that purportedly marks solidarity with the Palestinian people, Palestinians are not allowed the necessary space to define it as an international day of hypocrisy. The UN agreed in 1947 to fragment Palestine and now calls for global backing to finish the colonial task, which Israel is actually doing with total impunity and genocidal intent.
The UN head also called for acquiescence to the two-state imposition: “Only constructive negotiations, in good faith and adhering to the long-established and agreed parameters for a two-State solution, will bring the desired, long-lasting solution.” This is not a plan for Palestinian liberation and independence; it is an abhorrent demand for Palestinians to forget their claims to historic Palestine and subjugate themselves to the UN’s safeguarding of colonial Israel.
Commemorating this day is an act of complicity. It normalises the UN’s role in creating Israel and absolves the organisation of accountability by promoting its “efforts” to bring peace. Why should we look to the UN when the anti-colonial liberation struggle is happening among Palestinians?
The Palestinian struggle does not call for a day of remembrance, which is an enforced external imposition that seeks to alter our thought trajectories. Instead of looking towards Palestinians and their strategies, a major part of collective support for Palestinians is seeking UN parameters to determine the boundaries of such support. Needless to say, this will always fall short of what is truly required. On the other hand, the realisation of such dependence to determine what constitutes legitimate support should lead to a thorough questioning of blind reliance upon international and other institutions.
The UN exists as a result of human rights violations and its tacit acceptance of them. It knows that the two-state compromise will not lead to lasting peace and that it is not the only solution; that it is, in reality, a non-existent framework. Yet it is one of the major ways in which the organisation can ensure the continuation of violations against the Palestinian population at every level. The political violence as a result of the two-state imposition should not be ignored. It has determined not only Palestinians’ political incarceration but also the freedom for supporters of Palestine to stand by the legitimate right to engage in anti-colonial struggle.
Our obligations are not towards the UN and its institutions which have created the need for Palestinians to resist the occupation in order to reclaim their rights and their territory. There is always an alternative, regardless of what the UN dictates. We need to boycott the annual commemoration of international complicity in humiliating the Palestinians and their struggle; to reject the UN narratives of purported collective duty; and to stand unequivocally for Palestinians and historic Palestine.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.