Joel Smith
A Jew who thinks for himself

Israel addresses the United Nations

Esteemed representatives of the community of nations….I represent Israel, and I beg you to consider carefully what I have to say to you today because if you will not be fair when you sit in judgement of a member state…then there is no future for any of us. I urge you to do unto others – in this case, Israel, and the Palestinians – as you would have them do unto you.

Imagine if you and your family and friends were members of a minority group where you lived. Imagine too if we, all of us, were sincerely committed to justice for people, people from other parts of the world, with their own language, people with sons and daughters, people whose religion might be a little different from the one you believe is the proper one, but people who believe what they were told (just as you were) ordinary people who try to be decent, relatively honest people, trying to make a living. Imagine that God had appointed you a judge – and was judging you as you responded to others. I ask you: would you be fair? would you try to be wise, and impartial and fair if God were watching you?

I realize, of course, that you must consult with your governments before you cast a vote. I realize too that your governments have a policy, have a history, have debts, have friends they want to help – and have minorities living within your borders with demands or desires of their own. I understand these things, you understand these things. You are sophisticated people. But today you are being challenged to do what the United Nations was created to do. I am challenging you to reconsider this situation: the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs over the land of Israel.

I realize that what I am saying sounds idealistic, so naive as to seem childish to you; after all, you live in the real world, you are diplomats. But ladies and gentlemen…if you talk about this, if it gets a lot of attention…it becomes conceivable that we, the United Nations, can actually do something we were created to do. Imagine if all your governments decided to do something righteous, to be as fair as they could be regardless of other considerations. I ask you to be as wise as you can be, for you have before you a conflict which will go on for year after year unless something can be done. I am referring to the conflict we have with Palestinian Arabs. You claim to be for the rights of man; you claim to be the court of last resort. I put before you a problem that we, and the Palestinian Arabs, cannot resolve. This conflict has gone on for more than 70 years, with no end in sight. Israel has tried time and again to negotiate an outcome satisfactory to both our people and to the Palestinians. It appears that we cannot satisfy them. We think we are being fair. We are overlooking things that matter  to us in hopes that they too will overlook some of their desired outcomes in order to make peace. But their leaders are not willing to talk with us – consequently their people lead unfulfilling lives. It’s unfair. We don’t want the people of Palestine to be frustrated year after year – but what can we do? Give them everything they want? We have already offered them more than 90% of the West Bank – and they refused it. Imagine if you were in our shoes. What would your government do?

I could go into many details about how our lack of a relationship with the Palestinians came to be, and continues to be, but you know the basics. So what I am going to do instead, in order to change the situation, is make public Israel’s offer to the Palestinian people public here and now, in hopes that you, and fair minded people around the world, seeing that it is fair, will pressure the leaders of the Palestinian Authority to accept the settlement – and get on with making a state of their own. No more excuses. Please, do what you would want done if you were in the situation that we are in. Some in my country advocate simply absorbing them, but this would not make them happy, being de facto Israelis without being citizens, without full rights as Israeli citizens, living in the Jewish state – and frankly, many of our citizens don’t want them “reclaiming the land”. Realizing that we cannot go forward, we agree to give them some of our land to settle this problem. So we are offering the following generous offer to the Palestinians- and if they do not accept it within one year from this date, we will annex all of Judea and Samaria, and their fate is to be forever be stateless. Here is what we propose…..

About the Author
Born and raised in Chicago, 1938. Both my parents Jewish. Bar mitzvahed, and supposedly Conservative. U. of Ill. B.A. then 2 years in the army, then to the U of Montana, M.A., M.F.A. Taught, drove a cab in Chicago, spent some years in CA. Was mentored by Noah ben Shea in a Religious Studies program at International College. Traveled internationally. Spent 1975 and 6 in Israel. Painted (I'm an artist). Held 15 jobs (including teaching English in several countries). Managed to buy 3 acres of country in north Florida where I live today doing things that please me.
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