Israeli schools teach their students that on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to end the British rule in Israel, and recommended the foundation of two states - one Jewish and the other Arab. The Jews in Israel rejoiced over the decision, while the Arabs wholeheartedly rejected.
However, despite these historical facts, 191 of the U.N. member states - the automatic majority of Arab, Muslim, and non-affiliated countries - decided several years ago to transform this date into a day of identification with the Palestinian people.
In spite of improved relations between the U.N. and Israel in recent years, including setting an official international memorial day for Holocaust remembrance and accepting Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Gillerman as one of the Assembly's deputy presidents, the U.N. remains a body hostile to Israel.
About 20 committees in the international organization are dedicated to the Palestinian issue, and operate against Israel.
November 29 has thus been transformed into a day celebrated by the Palestinians at the U.N., and this year is no different.
A series of events to mark the day
The U.N. is scheduled to 'celebrate' November 29 with a series of public events in support of Palestinian cause. The New York branch has planned to open events with a conference to mark "an international day of sympathy with the Palestinian people," where U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to participate.
The conference will be followed by a press conference attended by members of the Palestinian delegation to the U.N., which will be held under the title, "Promoting the Palestinian cause through dance and cultural events."
A Palestinian exhibition will also be displayed at the venue.
The General Assembly is later scheduled to hold a special session to discuss "The Question of Palestine - a report by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People."
The second part of the session will be dedicated to "the situation in the Middle East."
Israeli ambassador shuns 'celebrations'
This is indeed a significant day, Israel's ambassador to the U.N. Danny Gillerman told Ynet.
"Today I celebrate my grandson's birthday," he explained. "But I do not intend on participating in the U.N. festivities. The Palestinians have turned November 29th into a hostage for their whims."
"I will not participate in this charade. Each year this ritual repeats itself. The Arab and Muslim representatives fill the assembly hall with defaming speeches," he added.
Gillerman said that contrary to previous years, he will not attend the session Tuesday.
"I will allow them to express their complaints and demonstrate to the world how stuck they are in the past, with their tedious speeches. When the session turns to discuss the situation in the Middle East, I plan to say a few words about how November 29 has been taken hostage and turned into Palestine day," he said.
"I will say that it is time for the General Assembly to reflect the realities on the ground, and the dramatic changes that have taken place in the region," Gillerman added.