Photo Credit: UN Photo / Manuel Elias
United Nations Special Event on International Day Against Drug Abuse 2019

The United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) met for a plenary session on Tuesday for its annual meeting to mark the historic UN vote on November 29, 1947, on the partition of Israel, during which several countries changed their voting pattern and for the first time voted against the annual resolution regarding the Division for Palestinian Rights at the UN Secretariat.

Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil and Colombia, voted against the resolution regarding the Division for Palestinian Rights which is notorious for its harsh criticism of Israeli policies.


The United Kingdom, France and Spain abstained, as they do every year, and the resolution passed with 87 votes in favor, 54 against, and 23 abstentions.

This Division for Palestinian Rights body “represents the structural discrimination against Israel in the UN arena and uses UN manpower and budgetary resources to promote a Palestinian narrative while simultaneously encouraging a distinctly anti-Israel agenda,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry state.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz stated he was “pleased that this significant group of countries which decided to voice a clear moral stance against discrimination towards Israel at the UN.”

The change of votes “represents an important step in the long struggle against the prejudiced bias towards Israel at the United Nations,” he added.

He further noted that “noticeable shift in the stance of several member states of the European Union” and expressed confidence that “the remaining EU members will adopt this position soon.”

He gave special thanks to “our loyal friends,” the US, Canada, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru who voted again against this resolution.

In his speech, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon criticized several UN members for their one-sided approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“For the international community: you must recognize that over the past 72 years, you have gone from holding a pragmatic approach, to fully embracing the Palestinian method and perspective. This new approach stands in the way of ending the conflict as it encourages the Palestinians to refuse direct negotiations and instead hold pointless events such as today,” he charged.

“The international community should be able to criticize the Palestinians when they do something wrong, in the same way that it doesn’t hesitate to do so when it believes Israel has acted in error,” he added.

He noted that the international community one-sided agenda was expressed in its treatment of the estimated 850,000 Jews who were forced out of Arab and Iran countries since the establishment of Israel “and became refugees.”

“These Jews were subject to brutal attacks and harassment and were forced to flee leaving everything behind: in Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, and many other countries. And still, we don’t hear the international community speak of them when they discuss the refugees of the conflict, perhaps because it doesn’t serve the Palestinian narrative,” he stated.

He announced that Israel would submit a resolution to the UNGA formally recognizing the Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran.

“Israel took in these refugees and integrated them into our society. The international community, on the other hand, ignored them and built corrupt institutions that only serve so-called Palestinian refugees. In order to right the historical injustice that was done to the Jewish refugees of this conflict, I will propose a resolution to the Assembly that will acknowledge the wrong done to the ‘forgotten’ Jewish refugees and will make right the injustice that they suffered,” he declared.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.