Jonathan Rafael Michanie
Israel activist and Middle East Analyst

Have you heard of the Palestinian-UN conflict?

The prospect for peace continues to dominate the philosophy of every successful Israel advocate that I have personally come to know.  For Palestinian activists, however; unbridled anti-Zionism fuels baseless charges of, genocide, colonialism, and human rights violations. Although these charges fail to hold up to scrutiny, they continue to shape discussions and perspectives. Just as Palestinian councils (formed throughout the years following WWI) condemned Jewish immigration and the notion of Zionism, so too does SJP and BDS seek to demonize Israel, and have the further effect of promoting terrorism.

About three months ago, I began writing and speaking about the role of identity in the contemporary politics of the Middle East. Discussing the origins of Palestinian self-recognition and its symbiotic relationship to anti-Zionism, my goals were to suggest an alternative vision for change. The concept of my proposal was to promote a paradigm shift. One which focuses on redefining the conflict as a: “Palestinian Identity Crisis” rather than labeling Israel as a major player in the current suffering of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.

I first understood the importance of this explanation while sitting in on the discussions about the conflict in different campuses. The topic was always presented as: “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”. Whether the professor was on the right or left side of the political spectrum, the discussion would invariably (through the Wilsonian lense of self-determination) provide the Palestinian argument with an advantage. In other words, to present the conflict as Israeli v. Palestinian, is to create an immediate paradigm of sovereign v. oppressed. It is clear to anyone deeply involved in the conflict that the anti-Zionist rhetoric continues to guide the Palestinian leadership and is predominance in many sectors of its population. The topic of discussion that is avoided in these campuses is the role of both Arab nations and the international community in formulating the suffering, dependence, and hate that is in abundant in current Palestinian territories.

Although history does not hide the role of Arab nations in the current conflict, the international community continues to isolate any chance of peace between both parties. Beginning with the constant rewards given to the terrorist strategies of the Palestinian leadership since 1964, the United Nations has been and continues to be, the most relevant factor to the ongoing situation in the Middle East. Erasing key historical events to support an anti-Israel agenda, financing massive campaigns to support the boycott of Israeli goods, and corrupt task forces which dissolve any hope for Palestinian reconciliation or dignity. Putting aside the organization’s failure to act upon its founding principles to protect all nations and populations equally, the United Nation has developed a disturbing obsession with the demonization of the State of Israel. Consequentially, the United Nations has failed to prioritize a two-state solution and continues to serve as a predisposed mediator. It is the acceptance of the Palestinian victimization strategy, the manipulation of history, and the elevation of Palestinian suffering above all other throughout the globe.

The United Nation’s Relief and Work’s Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has served, since 1948, as the only specially appointed oversight agency for a refugee population. Designed to promote education, create jobs, and establish civil institutions, UNRWA has only promoted anti-Israel activities in the territories and has, at times, harbored weapons and terrorist during confrontations with the IDF. Not only has the United Nations created a corrupt organization which promotes hate and violence, it has neglected other populations under severe occupation and oppressed nations.

Tibetans and Kurds, for example, have suffered repetitive persecutions and, following both international law and common practice, have claims of greater legitimacy in support of sovereign statehood, in favor of independence, than the Palestinian population. Relatedly, neither the Tibetans nor the Kurds have expressed the intention of destroying a neighboring nation as a component of its own founding charter. Comparing even the most exaggerated and unverified statistics provided by the Palestinian Authority during confrontations with the IDF, the Palestinian population has not suffered, even close to the levels of displacement, violence, or discrimination that the Kurdish and Tibetans have throughout the past century. This argument does not seek to negate the difficult reality that many Palestinian families are forced to confront daily, however it does attempt to shed light on the obsessive diplomatic persecution of the State of Israel at the hands of the United Nations. The constant attempts to constantly batter the Jewish nation continue to complicate any attempted peace processes by rewarding state-sponsored terrorism and distorting historical truths.

Despite the corruption within UNRWA, the United Nations continues to fund non-governmental organizations which affiliate themselves with boycott movements against the State of Israel. These significant, non-transparent, and unaccountable funds continue to budget international anti-Israel activities in many local communities and countless university campuses. Seeking to demonize the State of Israel, many of these student movements are misinformed as to why the conflict persists. While they, understandably, believe they are fighting for social justice, they are in fact failing to understand the historical truths that make the conflict quite simple to understand. They have come to believe that Palestinian activism has come to equate itself with Israeli defamation.

History has been deemed irrelevant by many politicians and analysts who believe that the role of Arab nations is minimal or nonexistent regarding the claims made by Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership. For example, the concept of allowing over four million “refugees” (which possess an individualistic definition by the United Nations aimed at a demographic destruction of the Jewish State) continues to be a repetitive demand in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Rarely do student activists, politicians, or the Palestinian people themselves attempt to understand why the crisis originated. Requesting Israel to take full responsibility for the refugees of 1948 and 1967 is to ignore the planned Arab wars of extermination against the State of Israel that took place in those years and completely disregard the Syrian and Egyptian calls to leave evacuate their homes in preparation for the liberation of Palestine. It is to ignore the role of Jordan in forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to remain in refugee camps instead incorporating them into their already majority composed Palestinian population.

The Palestinian people should not be held accountable for being used as a political and diplomatic weapon against Israel. Inevitably, Israel should not be held accountable by the international community for the tragedies and human rights violations committed by Arab nations. If Israel is willing to make extravagant concessions for peace so should Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Resources, funds, and time continues to be spent in the victimization of the Palestinian people thereby perpetuating a false historical narrative of Zionist oppression.

The day this false historical narrative is revised, reconciliation will become a viable option for the Palestinian leadership and its people. The world must relegate the blame to its original perpetrators and embrace Israel as an equal nation in the community of nations with its successes and flaws as opposed to of placing it on a pedestal of shame and isolation.

Edited by Andy Gottlieb

About the Author
Jonathan Michanie was born in 1993 Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lived in Miami, Florida where her completed his undergraduate degree from Florida International University in Political Science, with a focus in Middle Eastern Affairs. Former combat paratrooper in the IDF and holds an MA in Diplomacy and International Security from IDC Hertzeliya.
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