Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Manifold Responsibilities Unmet, Unchallenged

It is wearying, after all, to contemplate what might have been, as opposed to what has transpired. Through neglect, through incompetence, through sheer disinterest in settling a problem before it has the opportunity to fester and become an unhealable canker, a disease in the body politic of the United Nations.

For it is not only the Arab nations surrounding the State of Israel, unwilling to accept a healing charitable response to the plight of fleeing Palestinians upon the creation of Israel and the following attacks upon the nascent state. A situation they had a hand in creating. Yet chose to withhold a helping hand. The United Nations too, must face criticism for its selective choices in offering assistance to one group and withholding it from another.

In the process, allying itself singularly with the offshoot of a large number of people displaced from their homes by establishing refugee camps and funding them on an ongoing basis, rather than applying the pressure of expectation of a humanitarian response from the Arab countries to the needs of their fellow Arabs. Perhaps it was that other countries considered Palestinians to be Bedouin, not of their own exalted status.

More likely that the Arab states, taking grave offence at the propinquity of a non-Muslim usurper on sacred Islamic soil, sought to encourage the refugees to remain in their squalid camps, with the knowing assurance that resentment and the aggrievement of a people unjustly deprived of their heritage would grow like a cancer, its cells rapidly dividing and becoming deadlier as time progressed.

For that is exactly what has occurred. Defiance and anger bred the violent determination to strike back, to re-capture what was taken from them, oblivious to reason, to the utility of planning for the future, to the possibility of bargaining in good faith for reasonable accommodation, and in the process seeking to create for themselves and their heirs a future. Which is to say a future beyond the encouragement of youthful suicide bombers and an early passage to paradise.

Throughout the bitter contretemps of the succeeding years the United Nations permitted a pervasive, pernicious, punitive atmosphere to fester, in the General Assembly. Where Israel would be singled out as an aggressor. Where the UN's membership agreed to single out Israel for contempt and for ongoing censure to prevail. For since 1947, regular UN resolutions have specifically dealt with the plight of the Palestinian refugees.

At the same time that Arab nations assembled their armies to confront the nascent Jewish State, they colluded to forcibly displace a like number of Jews, some 850,000, from their ancestral homelands in Arab countries. None of these Arab countries have ever acknowledged this reality, the state-sanctioned repression and persecution, the reality imposed upon Jews through de-nationalization, forced expulsions, illegal seizure of properties, arrest and detention.

Nor has the United Nations ever concerned itself with this unfortunate balancing of the Palestinian flight from within Israel's borders. Nor the fact that Israel accepted all of the expelled Jews, newly-penniless, from Arab countries, absorbing them just as in contrast, the Arab countries maintained the influx of Palestinians refugees at arm's length, offering them no hope for the future in their countries. Never has there been a whisper of recompense for property seized.

In preparing to once again commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on the 60th anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution that resulted in the birth of Israel, the United Nations is practising the deception of outright hypocrisy. As such it is as much responsible for the rise of Palestinian terrorism as is the Arab nations which conspired to keep the Arab refugees frustrated and friendless.

Now the reality of two bitter solitudes habitually in violent conflict with one another, unable to see beyond the enmity toward the humanity in each group, leaves a seemingly insoluble problem, advanced well beyond the point of even tortuous bargaining for an elusive peace solution.

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