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The UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the 1947 Partition Plan and the two-state compromise

November 30, 2021 at 5:52 pm

United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York, US on 24 September 2019 [Erçin Top/Anadolu Agency]

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’s simplistic tweet does not suffice for a remembrance day created by the UN, let alone to acknowledge international complicity in the colonisation of Palestine. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is farcical, unlike the 1947 Partition Plan, which remains associated with the Palestinian people’s loss of territory and political rights.

“On #Palestine Day, let’s reaffirm commitment to the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their rights & build a future of peace & dignity for both Palestinians & Israelis,” Guterres tweeted. The tweet is taken from Guterres’s brief, official statement, which is vague and says nothing about political accountability.

Although, if Guterres had substituted the day’s official reference as designated by the UN, to the 1947 Partition Plan, his rhetoric would have benefited from a historical reference. Guterres is not concerned about the Palestinians, of course, but the possibility that the two-state compromise might be at risk, even though it has already been declared obsolete.

“Persistent violations of the rights of Palestinians, along with the expansion of settlements risk eroding the prospect of a two-State solution,” the statement partly reads. The two-state diplomacy reflects the UN’s original plans for partitioning Palestine; at the very least, Guterres’s statement ought to have provided an apology for creating the conditions which led to the current colonial expansion. The UN should not be allowed to fake benevolence, when it operates out of a colonial context.

READ: ‘UN must reverse decision to partition Palestine’

In 1947, the UN set the scene for Palestine’s colonisation. Decades later, as its politics became even more dissociated from the human rights rhetoric the organisation is associated with, the UN created a travesty of remembrance – one that is forcing Palestinians to accept the terms of partition under the guise of the two-state compromise, and call it “solidarity”.

Unfortunately, the UN is not called out enough on its hypocritical “day of solidarity”. Expecting the Palestinian Authority to perform its real duty and stand by the Palestinians is, of course, unfeasible. The PA’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, did not mention the 1947 Partition Plan once, although he affirmed the UN’s two-state politics throughout a speech given on the occasion at the UN General Assembly.

“The international community, decades ago, determined its vision for peace, and that vision is the two-state solution on 1967 borders. This vision was enshrined in the resolutions of this organisation,” Mansour reminded his audience, while calling on countries that have recognised Israel to recognise Palestine as well. “International auspices,” he added, “are a necessity to achieve peace.” But such statements conveniently ignore the fact that international interference was instrumental in creating Israel, so how can the same community be pro-Palestine, unless it decides upon decolonisation?

In the midst of all the diplomatic charade, the Palestinian people were merely an appendage, once again. How about the UN, and the PA for that matter, asks Palestinians to articulate the discrepancy between solidarity, the 1947 Partition Plan and the two-state compromise? If not, can the UN specify that it is seeking solidarity with its colonial politics, and not with the Palestinian people?

READ: Mohammed El-Kurd addresses UN on anniversary of Palestine partition

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