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E1 area near Jerusalem Photo: Reuters
E1 area near Jerusalem Photo: Reuters

Hunting season

Op-ed: PA closely following Israel's response to European condemnations over settlement building

Hagai Segal
Published: 12.09.12, 10:58 / Israel Opinion

November and December have always been difficult months for the Jews dating back almost to the UN's inception. The General Assembly has been passing insane anti-Israel resolutions during these months since way before the Six Day War conquests, and always with a vast majority. On December 10, 1949 the UNGA adopted an Australian resolution to internationalize Jerusalem. Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, the leftist member of Ben-Gurion's government, immediately declared "I do not see a force in this world that can prevent the realization of Jerusalem's historic destiny to become the capital of Israel."


Jerusalem has been our capital for the past 64 years, thank God. Regrettably, there are no foreign embassies in Jerusalem, but the famous Israeli sun continues to shine. We have learned to live with the UN's animosity and even find comfort in the fact that the most painful UN votes are a moderate alternative to the pogroms of yesteryear. Today's Israel haters can't harm us physically, so they organize UN votes against us.

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In early December 1969 the General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution that called on Israel to allow the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes at once. Britain and France abstained. Did we return the refugees? Does anyone even remember that resolution?


"The Arabs have hijacked the UN," Israel's UN ambassador Chaim Herzog said in 1976 after the General Assembly adopted a report submitted by a special committee which gave Israel an ultimatum – withdraw from all the territories within six months and establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.


Today, our situation in the international arena is still grim, but the state of our resilience is even worse. In 1949, when the UN objected to Israel's annexation of west Jerusalem, it was criticized by both the coalition and the opposition. When it compared Zionism to racism in 1975, no one blamed the government. The sense of pressure was converted into determination and defiance. The Haifa Municipality changed the name of one of the city's streets from United Nations Boulevard to Zionism Boulevard. Sixteen years later, the UN folded and annulled the decision.


The UN may also capitulate one day with regards to the construction in Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim. But Israel must not. If we agree to freeze construction in Jerusalem until a permanent agreement is reached, we will never be able to resume it, because the Palestinians have shown that they have no intention of making peace with us in the next 100 years. Their main goal in life is to use the international community to obstruct Jewish construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Now they are closely following Israel's response to the European condemnations and are already calculating their next steps in case Israel responds hesitantly. The best way to deter them is to show that we are not dissuaded.



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