UN resolution calls Israel's founding a 'catastrophe'

International body votes to recognize Palestinian Nakba; 'What would you say if the international community celebrated the establishment of your country as a disaster? What a disgrace,' says Israel's UN envoy Erdan

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The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to mark the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948 as a "catastrophe."
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  • Palestinians consider the establishment of Israel and its existence to this day as the "Nakba" (catastrophe in Arabic) and the world body decided to acknowledge the Palestinian version of events with the resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 90-30 with 47 abstentions. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and most European Union countries including Germany voted against the anti-Israel resolution.
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    The UN General Assembly during a session in 2017
    The UN General Assembly during a session in 2017
    The UN General Assembly in session in 2017
    (Photo: AP)
    Israel's Abraham Accords ally the United Arab Emirates was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.
    The resolution calls for a commemoration of the "Nakba" at the General Assembly Hall at UN headquarters in New York City next year — Palestinians and their supporters mark the event every year on May 15 which is the day after Israel declared independence in 1948. In 2023, Israel will celebrate 75 years since its establishment.
    “What would you say if the international community celebrated the establishment of your country as a disaster? What a disgrace," Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said after the vote.
    Erdan went on to say that the Palestinians brought the disaster upon themselves, in reference to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 when five Arab armies attacked the nascent state — Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League's first secretary-general, said that the establishment of a Jewish state would lead to "a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades."
    The day before Wednesday's anti-Israel vote, Israel's UN mission launched its first-ever exhibition documenting Jewish expulsion from Arab countries and Iran. Erdan said that the exhibition, which will be on display at UN headquarters in New York City for a week, "tells the story of the real Nakba – the Nakba of the Jews who were expelled from Arab countries and Iran."
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