Israel Hayom and the European Jewish Press highlighted B’nai B’rith International’s statement (tweet) calling out the U.N. for marking the State of Israel’s 75th birthday by calling the anniversary of the Jewish state’s founding a “catastrophe.”
Read in Israel Hayom (English) and in the European Jewish Press.
Over 30 countries skipped out on marking the so-called “Nakba Day” at the United Nations on Monday when the Palestinians held a special event slamming Israel at the international body. The outcome was in part due to Israeli efforts to deny the Palestinians a PR success in this largely anti-Israel venue.
“Shameful that the United Nations is for the first time marking a country’s birthday – the 75th birthday of (the) world’s only Jewish state, Israel, endorsed by the UN in 1947 – by calling it a ‘catastrophe,'” B’nai B’rith International tweeted on Monday. “Palestinian ‘Nakba’ Day pushes an odious narrative that promotes more conflict, not peace.”
“Nakba” in Arabic means “disaster” or “catastrophe” and refers to the displacement of around 700,000 Palestinians during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence after Arabs tried to annihilate the new state.
Israel says that the alleged “catastrophe” occurred because Arab nations refused to accept the 1947 plan to partition British Mandate Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, and – violating the UN charter – declared war on newly established Israel with the aim of destroying the Jewish state in its infancy. The United States and Britain announced last week that they would not participate in Monday’s events, drawing the ire of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel’s UN mission and Foreign Ministry successfully campaigned to convince other member states to forgo attending. Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the UN, sent a letter to colleagues on Sunday urging them not to take part in the ceremonies.
“The thought that an international organization could mark the establishment of one of its member states as a catastrophe or disaster is both appalling and repulsive,” he wrote. Erdan warned that attending one-sided initiatives such as a “Nakba Day gives a green light to the Palestinians to continue exploiting international organs to promote their libelous narrative.” It also contributes to Jew-hatred, he said. Other countries that boycotted the event included Ukraine, 10 European Union member states, Canada, three African nations, and reportedly Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, and Peru.