By Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
On Friday I spoke with newly elected UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. I shared with him the outrage of all Israelis following Thursday’s UNESCO decision that once again denied the over 3,000 year old connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount. This was the site of Solomon’s Temple described in book of Kings in the Bible. It was the site of the second temple built by Jewish exiles who returned from Babylon some 500 years later. It was this second temple that was refurbished by King Herod and visited by Jesus as recounted in the New Testament.
Decisions like this distort historical truth that Jews, Christians and most of humanity know to be fact. These decisions also do nothing to advance peace. On the contrary, they only fuel the Palestinian fantasy of a Land of Israel with no Israel. They falsely teach Palestinian children that the Jews have no history and no rights here and therefore there’s no need to make peace with them.
Yesterday the United Nations further demonstrated its moral bankruptcy when it comes to Israel.
The Security Council discussed what it calls “Illegal Israeli Settlements.” According to the UN concept paper, the very presence of Jews living in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, “seriously jeopardizes” the viability of two states.
That claim only makes sense if you ignore thousands of years of Jewish history, as UNESCO did this week.
That claim only makes sense if you accept the anti-Semitic Palestinian demand for a state free of Jews as somehow essential for peace.
Over a million and a half Arabs live in Israel as full citizens. Does their presence constitute a barrier to peace? Of course not. That some Jews live in Judea and Samaria is no more a barrier to peace than that.
No matter how often lies about Israel are repeated, this doesn’t make them true.
The real barrier to peace is not the settlements but the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any boundaries.
That’s why the Palestinians attacked the Jews for half a century before there was a single settlement and continued to attack Israel after it dismantled all the settlements and withdrew from Gaza entirely.
The real barrier to peace is the outrageous idea that Jews cannot live in their ancestral homeland and need to be cleansed from it. The real barrier to peace is terrorist regimes like Hamas that launch tens of thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians and call for genocide of all Jews.
But the UN, and the so-called peace groups that testified there on Friday, are too busy denying Jews our rights, spreading lies and distorting history to recognize and condemn the actual barriers to peace.
Until that changes, until the UN drops its double standards towards Israel and stops ignoring Palestinian terror and rejectionism, peace for Israelis and Palestinians will not come from the United Nations any more than security for Israel will come from the Security Council.
I said recently at the UN that there may be a storm before the calm in the coming months. We are in the storm. But I also said that “I have total confidence that in the years ahead the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations will finally penetrate this hall of nations.”
It will take some time, but that too will come, when most of nations of the world will decide to stop using the UN as a platform for lies and hate and it will reclaim its noble mandate to advance truth and peace.Jewish Press News Briefs