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Peace will come through decolonisation, not rhetoric on annual Palestine Solidarity Day

December 1, 2020 at 3:32 pm

Moroccans protest the normalization deal with Israel to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in Rabat, Morocco on November 29, 2020 [Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres never misses an opportunity to illustrate how the international community has failed Palestine and its people. On 29 November, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People — or to be more accurate, the anniversary of the UN conspiracy to allow Israel to be established as a colonial project in Palestine through the 1947 Partition Plan, established in UNGA Resolution 181 — his introductory remark was, “As the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary, the question of Palestine remains distressingly unresolved.”

The UN Partition Plan date was chosen for this “International Day…” — according to the organisation’s website — “because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people.” There’s no mention of the negative meaning and significance that it has for Palestinians. In a bout of unrivalled hypocrisy, the UN describes the Day of Solidarity as providing “an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that… the Palestinian people have yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely self-determination without external interference.”

In UN rhetoric, the Partition Plan does not constitute “external interference”. Neither does the fact that such UN interference favoured Zionist colonialism which turned the Palestinians into colonised people and refugees. Decades down the line, the UN has completely dissociated the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from those responsible and, more importantly, from the international accomplices of such colonial violence.

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Oblivion accomplished, the UN’s duty on this particular day is merely to act as an information booth as per its own admission, with rhetoric to mark the occasion, meetings and film screenings. It displays all the trappings of a marketing and PR agency rather than an international body that wields the political power to stop Israel if it really wanted to. Which, of course, it has no intention of doing.

So, while Guterres and his hierarchy preside over the current destruction of Palestine, thus perpetuating the cycle of land appropriation and dispossession of the Palestinian people, is it not time for everyone opposed to the UN’s machinations to stop marking this symbolic occasion as if it is something really meaningful and positive? Stop exploiting Palestinians by participating in a commemoration orchestrated by an international organisation that refuses to distinguish between the coloniser and the colonised, and which has normalised the lack of a just resolution in order to accommodate Israel’s presence in Palestine, as well as its false “self-defence and security” narrative.

There is nothing honourable about a day in which the international community celebrates its complicity against the Palestinian people and the theft of their homeland. If Palestinians are to be truly celebrated, the UN’s comment about “self-determination without external interference” needs to be taken seriously, to the point that 29 November becomes an annual opportunity to hold the international community to account for perpetrating major violations of international law against the Palestinian people, under the auspices of the same law which it is so fond of quoting.

The Palestinians need the relevant spaces for their narratives to create the politics for their own land and people. The UN will not comply, of course, but there is no reason not to create new initiatives by the Palestinians, for the Palestinians; initiatives which recognise that peace starts with decolonisation, not the dissemination of Israel’s colonial security narrative – “without external interference” – as the UN itself declared so unwittingly.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.