Recently, during his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reflected upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, termed as “Nakba” or ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic. He alluded to distortions in the historical narratives surrounding Israel and claimed the nation’s inception as a violation of international norms.
Emphatically, he pointed out the “hideous occupation” Palestinians face and expressed his intent to resort to international platforms such as the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Yet, he affirmed the Palestinian commitment to “peaceful popular resistance.”
The irony lies in the backdrop of 2023 being recorded as one of the deadliest years since the Second Intifada, with a worrisome average of one Israeli civilian death per week due to Palestinian terror.
Addressing alleged biases within the UN, Abbas mentioned the disproportionate number of resolutions against Israel compared to other nations with more significant human rights violations. He depicted a rather grim image of Israel, even as he championed the idea of an international peace conference.
It’s noteworthy how Abbas’s speech, laden with allegations and demands, called for the ‘Right of Return’ for millions of descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948. This, many believe, could fundamentally challenge the essence of a Jewish state.
Despite the intense atmosphere, Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan responded with composure and grace. Highlighting the inconsistency in Abbas’s claims of “peaceful resistance” and the actual events on the ground, Erdan reaffirmed that terror, in any form or name, remains just that – terror. He succinctly conveyed that for any genuine peace process, both parties need to operate in a reality-driven framework, signaling that Abbas’s narrative was a far cry from that.
Israel, since its establishment, has showcased resilience, innovation, and a commitment to peace and prosperity. Its values resonate with its vibrant culture, thriving communities, and a rich tapestry of history. The Land of Milk and Honey has always stood as a beacon of hope, even amidst challenges, highlighting the spirit of unity, diversity, and strength.
While international forums might be grounds for intense political discussions, let’s remember the daily lives of countless Israelis and Palestinians who wish for genuine peace. Let us cherish the story of Israel, its astonishing achievements in fields ranging from technology to medicine, its rich cultural heritage, and the warm-heartedness of its people, ever welcoming and ever hopeful for a brighter, more peaceful tomorrow.