The New Today


Nakba? Whose ‘catastrophe’?

Grenada Votes In U.N. for Nakba Day Commemoration

Several days ago, on November 30th, 2022, the U.N. passed a resolution calling Israel’s founding a ‘Catastrophe’, or ‘Nakba’ in Arabic by announcing the commemoration of the ‘75th anniversary’ of Nakba Day on May 15 next year, 2023. Grenada was one of the 90 countries that agreed.

The day was inaugurated by Yasser Arafat in 1998 (on Israel’s 50th birthday) as previously, the ‘Palestinians’ (who were/are ‘Palestinian Arabs’ as the word ‘Palestinian’ originally referred to both Jews and Arabs living in the region, not country, of Palestine) had no such day.

The event, named ‘al-Nakba’ after 1948, became the proper name for the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians, yet for decades, no day was singled out as a day of commemoration.

However, some Palestinian Israelis took advantage of the national holiday on Israeli Independence Day to visit their lost homes or deserted villages within Israel.

Regardless, the U.N. forcing other nations to recognise an event that has no bearings on them is peculiar. What exactly happened in 1948? Five Arab nations – Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon – waged war on the nascent Jewish State. Abdul Rahman Azzam, the Arab League’s first Secretary-General who represented the five nations aforementioned, said, “this war will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades,” on October 11th , 1947, weeks before the UN voted for Israel to become a state (Resolution 181).

Sheik Hassan al-Bannah, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, incited, “Unsheathe your swords against the Jews! Death to them all! Victory is ours!” Israel would declare independence on May 14th the following year, though struggling with civil war, the death of hundreds of their citizens by Palestinian Arab-instigated violence, major roads blockaded by Arabs, crippling inflation, the massive wave of immigration into its already strained economy, and the attacks by Palestinian Arabs on Jewish villages credit of the Arab League.

The following day, the Palestinian Arabs instituted armed action in Israel. Two days later, Palestinian Arabs descended upon central Jerusalem, shedding blood, looting and burning Jewish shops and damaging their property; even sniping citizens and grenading them. Thousands of Palestinian Arabs waged war against their Jewish neighbours in nascent Israel.

Within days, Israel was invaded by foreign Arab forces. Newspapers made appeals to the United States and the U.N. to send armed forces to defend the Jews, whose miniscule militia had bleak prospects of survival against the Arab forces, including Trans-Jordan’s (now Jordan) Arab Legion, which was armed, trained, and backed by the United Kingdom.

Britain’s commitment to the Arab states even included the loan of 37 British officers to Trans-Jordan, including Brigadier John Glubb Pasha, who trained the Arab Legion and led it into war against Israel. The retaliation and subsequent victory of Israel against their invaders in the 1948 war, Israel’s War of Independence, shocked the Arab leaders who had boasted they would “drive the Jews into the sea if they try to partition Palestine.”

As occurs with any war unfortunately, there were refugees. The Palestinian refugees, however, were special in the eyes of the United Nations, despite the fact that only three years earlier, in the aftermath of the Second World War, there were millions of refugees, belonging to many nations.

The United Nations founded UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) in 1949 to exclusively aid Palestinian Arabs, before they founded the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help Europeans displaced by World War 2 in 1950, and before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which was founded 57 years later in 2006.

No such agency was founded to aid the refugees from the Farhud (Arabic for “violent dispossession”) pogrom of 1941, where upwards of 1000 Iraqi Jews in Baghdad were killed by thousands of armed Iraqi Muslims on the rampage, with swords, knives and guns during two days of violence, murder, arson, raping, and looting.

There was no ‘day of catastrophe’ declared either. Neither was such an agency formed to aid the 850,000 Jews expelled from the Middle Eastern and northern African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, the Levant, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Afghanistan between 1948 and 1980.

Of course, neither was such an agency established to aid the refugees who survived the Holocaust in Europe, nor was a ‘day of catastrophe’ commemorated. If, perhaps, the UN did not establish such an agency for the stateless Jewish refugees because they were of the Jewry, then what about the approximately 40 million stateless Kurds who have yet to be given the state promised them by the Arab nations?

Why isn’t the UN championing the cause of the millions of Kurdish stateless refugees left in the wake of the war with IS and the Syrian civil war? Why aren’t they adamant about the repatriation of the Kurds to their home countries, despite the refusal of most of the Arab nations to absorb them?

Why won’t they pressure the Arab nations to take them, the way they pressure Israel to take the Palestinians? Why won’t the UN champion the cause of the Kurds, whose repeated attempts at independence have been brutally quashed by Arabic regimes, resulting in them straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia?

How is it that the Jews and Kurds are hardly considered, but the Palestinians are the longest lasting, most lavishly supported refugee population in the history of the world? Even the U.N. calling the Arabs ‘Palestinians’ is simply an attempt to give them claim to a land they refused to develop or make into a state of their own (Resolution 181 granted the existence of both a Jewish and Arab State).

Who is the UN kidding? Their human rights council has consisted of such grievous human rights offenders, including the likes of China, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, Russia, Viet Nam, Qatar, and Djibouti. Nations that cannot even govern themselves humanely are given authority over others. Such UN member states with dismal human rights records routinely gang up on the United States, as in 2001 when the United States was voted off the UN Human Rights Commission by the likes of Syria and Libya.

The United States is widely resented and envied, especially among the leaders of the impoverished nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, who consider their poverty a consequence of American ‘imperialism’ rather than their own misguided policies.

The UN is corrupt, riddled with Communists, so-called ‘Third World’ despots, and other elements hostile to the United States and the freedom and sovereignty it represents, and to any nation, such as Israel, that also treasures such values. The United States is merely in the UN and on the UNHRC to give apparent legitimacy to a group of egregious dictators posing as champions of human rights.

Given the UN’s long record of anti-Americanism, Antisemitism, and the ultra-liberal, socialist attitudes of most of its members and supporters, it is important that it be known that these values have existed from its inception. The U.N. has not fell far from its semi-secret beginnings in Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., August 1944, where delegations from three world powers at the time – the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union – met under the veneer of laying plans for a post war security agreement, an organisation that would help prevent future world wars.

The truth of the matter was that the Roosevelt administration used the cover of World War 2 to drag the United States into a new League of Nations with the total exclusion of the press and Congress. Peculiarly, like many of the member states of the UNHRC, the United States delegation was made up of a group of Communists and Communist sympathisers, including Alger Hiss, Lawrence Duggan, Noel Field, Victor Perlo, and Harry Dexter White.

Alger Hiss, who had spied on the United States for the Soviet Union, was found guilty on two counts of perjury, and was guilty of espionage – was the Secretary of the conference. Lawrence Duggan was an American Soviet spy. Noel Field, an American, was also a Soviet spy, as well as a Communist activist.

Victor Perlo was an American Marxist economist. American, Harry Dexter White, a Communist spy who had sent information to the Soviet Union and had worked as Assistant Treasury Secretary, also founded the IMF and World Bank.

The ‘United Nations’ organisation was established a year later, in 1945. True to its founders, the United Nations Charter is based on socialism not on the principles of freedom, limited government, or even peace. Socialism assumes that all human problems must be solved by the power of government planning, disguised as “collective action,” and can only be achieved if there are no limits on its power.

The blueprint for the Dumbarton Oaks conference expressed, among other things, that the ‘United Nations’ was to be a mechanism for the entire world to gang up on any country thought to be a threat. In their words, the blueprint called for taking “effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and the suppression of acts of aggression,” and for creating “a center for harmonising the actions of nations in the achievement of these common ends.”

The UN is an attempt to create a world government with the power to enforce peace, through military means if necessary. But peace by military force is simply another name for war. In the words of J. Reuben Clark, “the [UN] Charter provides for force to bring peace, but such use of force is itself war.”

The document also provided for “international cooperation in the solution of international economic, social, and other humanitarian problems,” which meant the UN was to use the power of international government to target financial, social, and economic ills. This translates to state-sponsored activity in all of these areas – the very essence of socialism, and is at variance with the American tradition of limited, constitutional government.

To achieve its socialist aims, the UN ‘octopus’ includes many subsidiary international organisations responsible for activities ranging from the welfare of the world’s children (UNICEF) and Health (WHO) to education, science and culture (UNESCO), founded to achieve the goals set out in Chapter 9, Article 55 of the U.N. Charter.

As any socialist dictator, the U.N. is a law unto itself, and as demonstrated by the jurisdiction of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC), its most powerful body (UN Charter, Articles 41, 42, Chapter 8, Chapter 16: Articles 102, 103, 104, Chapter 14, and Resolution 1373), no principles of law are laid down to guide it, or to put checks on its absolute power.

James Madison, 4th US President and constitutional draftsman observed that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny!”

The UN has established the UNSC for control of all three branches of government: it has the authority to be an international judge, jury, and executioner as it has complete, unfettered authority over international legislative, and executive matters, and in the International Court of Justice (or World Court) and the International Criminal Court (ICC, which is subordinate to the UN under the Rome Statute, but may supersede the UNSC if deemed necessary).

Yet for all, the UN’s authority is far inferior to that of the United States. The UN is a parasite leeching off the United States’ economy, military, technology, etc., in an effort to make its authority superior to that of its host, the United States, by draining it of its sovereignty over its own affairs.

The United States is a stumbling block in the way of the UN, because it values limited constitutional government— the opposite of what the UN seeks to be. However, without the United States, the UN lacks credibility – along with money, clout, and a military.

Their palatial headquarters are on American soil, built wholly by American dollars, and even the IMF and all other financial ventures of the UN are largely financed by American taxpayers. The UN needs a compliant United States in order to exist, having learned from the demise of its predecessor, the League of Nations, which fell apart largely because of the United States’ limited involvement at the time.

Nevertheless, the UN hates the United States and all that it stands for, which is why it despises Israel, the only other nation in the world that treasures American values. In the ‘Palestinian refugee crisis,’ the UN has found a way to target Israel by exploiting the Palestinians, all the while acting as if they are supporting the cause of the ‘Palestinian refugees,’ who are supposedly being helped by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

But why does that help not materialise? For starters, corruption allegations have dogged the Palestinian Authority since its inception in the early 1990s, under Yasser Arafat. To name a few, an IMF audit found in 2003 that Arafat had funnelled $900 million in public funds to a special bank account from 1995 to 2000. Another report found that Arafat and his cronies had transferred nearly $300 million to Swiss bank accounts between 1997 and 2000.

Under ‘Palestine’s’ second ‘president’, Mahmoud Abbas, who has yet to call an election after 17 years ‘in office’, Najat Abu Bakr, a member of Mahmoud Abbas’ own Fatah party, filed accusations of corruption against senior Palestinian Authority officials. One of these officials, Hussein al-Araj, who Abu Bakr accused of pocketing roughly $200,000 in a water well deal, was a close associate of Abbas. Abu Bakr then fled, after being issued a warrant, by Mahmoud’s administration, for her arrest.

The Sunday Times, on October 13th 2013, cited a report from the European Court of Auditors detailing how £1.95bn in EU aid to the Palestinians had been ‘misspent, squandered or lost to corruption.’ Since 2003, it has been Palestinian ‘law’ to reward Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails with a monthly paycheck through what is called the Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund which is operated by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which also pays monthly cash stipends to the families of Palestinians killed, injured, or imprisoned while carrying out politically motivated violence against Israel. Imagine that!

Under the watchful eye of the UN, this fund of course is financed by aid expected to rebuild homes and improve the lives of Palestinians. Corruption is endemic in the PA and has fuelled many protests among Palestinians against their leaders.

According to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), 81% of the Palestinians living in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) believe there is corruption in the Palestinian Authority, yet the UN continues to support the PA while condemning Israel. Though Mahmoud Abbas, has not held an election since he was elected in 2005, and oppresses those who oppose him, the UN continues in its attempts to give credence to the existence of a ‘Palestinian State.’

Though supported by billions of dollars in UN aid through the IMF (credit, in large part, to the American taxpayer), and EU, the conditions of Palestinians living in areas like Gaza (which the Jews unilaterally left in 2005) has not improved, largely because of ‘bribes and misuse of aid’, though the UN continues to blame Israel for the Palestinian plight.

Commemorating ‘Nakba Day’ in May of next year is merely another move to condemn Israel – a ritual of the UN. The UN General Assembly condemned Israel a few days ago, on November 30th, in five separate resolutions. A total of 15 resolutions targeting the Jewish state in 2022 alone — compared to 13 on the rest of the world combined.

‘Nakba,’ which was the flight, not expulsion, of Palestinian Arabs, had two main causes, neither of which was because of Israel’s instigation: (1) because of war, and (2) because they were told by Arab leaders to leave the Jewish areas. The idea was that they would return once the Jews and their state had been destroyed.

To restate the reality of the Palestinian Arab exodus, in 1968, United Nations Television interviewed Hamdi Herzallah, a Palestinian Arab refugee in Gaza. Though he falsely claimed that Israel had started the 1948 War, he never claimed they were expelled, as is often said today. In his words, “we left, though not of our own wishes.”

One of the Arab leaders that called for the Palestinian Arabs to leave, Khalid Al-Azm, the Prime Minister of Syria in 1948-49, said, “Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call to them to leave and our appeal to the United Nations to resolve [on] their return.”

The Palestinian Arab refugee crisis was created, not by Israel, but by the Arab nations. If Grenada wishes to be ‘an ardent supporter of all rights, all human rights,’ as Linda Sobeh Ali flattered, why do our friends include the likes of China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and Russia? These communist nations who subject their citizens to a sub-human existence?

If these nations who do not allow freedom of speech, religion, association, or freedom of the press, are our bedfellows, why would we suddenly break our trend and befriend the Palestinians if there was not something they had in common with our other ‘allies’?

Let us look briefly at some reputational knowledge. North Korea is notorious for its sealed borders, summary executions and decapitations of defectors, torture, forced abortions, and arbitrary detentions, prison camps, and for making a God out of Kim Il-Sung. Political dissent is illegal, children are stolen from parents by the government as soon as they are no longer nursing and are raised by the state, and citizens have no right to own property and live in absolute squalor.

What of China? Besides sending in tanks and armed soldiers to massacre unarmed students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, China also regularly forcibly harvests organs from political dissenters and religious groups like the Falun Gong, while the victims are alive, and sometimes without anaesthetics, in order to sell their organs to foreigners who pay for transplants.

Between 1958 and 1962 approximately 30 million people died of starvation in China due to Chairman Mao Zedong’s orchestrated famine, which he called ‘The Great Leap Forward,’ then another, approximately, 3 million died in the subsequent Cultural Revolution that lasted from 1966-1976.

During the COVID lockdowns (which have yet to end in China), people who left their homes were brutally beaten, forced into quarantine, and even children were taken from their parents. The CCP, in the name of health, also welded people into their homes, and even refused to let people out when a factory building was burning with workers inside.

All of China’s exports are manufactured with slave labour in labour camps known as ‘Laogai’. Yet, we tend to focus on transatlantic slavery as if slavery is not a current problem. Instead, we call China an economic miracle.

In Cuba, protesters are detained, sent into force labour, or executed for opposing the government, because political opposition is outlawed, along with emigration. Cuban emigrants are executed if they return to Cuba by choice or force. Cubans have no right to own property and are routinely experimented on – even foreign students from friendly countries are administered unknown injections.

The Cuban intelligence agency monitors civilians and reports on behaviour, and disobedience leads to execution, imprisonment or the person’s disappearance.

In Russia, political opposition is illegal and fatal. In August 2020, the attempted assassination of President Vladimir Putin’s greatest opponent, Alexei Navalny, using Novichok, a nerve agent, made worldwide news. Alexei Navalny was probably the latest victim of Russia’s campaign in poisoning political dissidents, which has resulted in the deaths of numerous Russian dissidents both within Russia and across Europe.

Independent media is illegal, and results in assassination, while deviation from the state religion is punished by imprisonment. Russia routinely mistreats their prisoners, including torturing them, and children’s right are violated.

In Venezuela, journalists are attacked and harassed, political opposition is illegal and may be punished by imprisonment and torture, extrajudicial execution, or exile, often without being charged. All protests are illegal, and protestors are detained, and may even ‘disappear.’

There are mass, arbitrary detentions, the prisons are overcrowded and unsanitary, citizens are forcibly evicted, and tens of thousands of people killed for ‘resisting authority’. There is no right to due process; citizens can be raided, detained, or have their possessions seized without warrant.

Venezuelans are subjected to forced labour in mines run by crime syndicates that are involved with the state and have impunity. The Venezuelan government, run by the dictator Nicolás Maduro has granted impunity to armed groups engaging in human rights violations and crimes against humanity including murder, forced labour, rape, and child recruitment, all with government approval and involvement.

How can Grenada, while having friends such as these, believe that we have any voice to support the human rights of the Palestinians only? This vote for the commemoration of ‘Nakba’ is an indictment on, not Israel, but on the nations that voted for Israel’s statehood who, on November 29th, 1947, who, on November 30th, 2022, voted to call Israel’s founding and rebirth a ‘day of catastrophe.’

Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Philippines, South Africa, you are the greatest hypocrites in human history. Perhaps the true catastrophe is that the Palestinians are being used by not only the United Nations, but by the Arab governments, who see the Palestinians as a political tool they can use to win the war of public opinion against Israel, who they label the ‘Little Satan.’

So, when Grenada quietly put its vote to signal condemnation of Israel it must look around to its allies and reconsider its double standard on human rights.

Zarah A. Chase M.A. International Communications and Development, U.K