I must begin by making it clear that the UN of my headline is the Security Council not other component parts of the world body such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) which provides education, health care and social services for more than five million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip prison camp, the occupied West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
As a new year dawns I believe that those who are entertaining hope that the cause of justice for the Palestinians will be advanced by another Security Council resolution are guilty of wishful thinking. They may also be unaware of the history of Zionism’s success in corrupting and subverting the decision making process of the General Assembly as well as the Security Council. (This history, complete and unexpurgated, flows through the three volumes of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).
The corruption and subversion started in the countdown to the vote on the General Assembly’s Partition Plan resolution of 29 November 1947. The vote was postponed twice because Zionism calculated that there was not a majority in favour of partition. Then, assisted by its assets in President Truman’s White House and 26 of its collaborators in the Senate, Zionism bullied and bribed a number of vulnerable nations to change their “No” votes to “Yes” or abstain. The result was a minimum necessary majority in favour of partition but… When President Truman refused to use force to impose it, the resolution was vitiated (became invalid); and the option Truman approved was sending the question of what to do about Palestine back to the General Assembly for another debate. It was while this debate was underway that Israel, in defiance of the will of the organized international community as it then was, unilaterally declared itself to be in existence.
When Truman learned how Zionism and its collaborators had rigged the partition vote, he wrote the following in an angry memorandum to Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett. “It is perfectly clear that pressure groups will succeed in putting the United Nations out of business if this sort of thing is continued.”
Many years later a long serving, very senior and universally respected UN official said the following to me in his office on the 38th (top) floor of the UN’s headquarters in New York. “Zionism has corrupted everything it touched, including this organization in its infancy.” I knew, really knew, that he was reflecting the deeply held but private view of all the top international civil servants who were responsible for trying to make the world body work in accordance with the ideals and principles enshrined in its Charter and international law.
The Security Council’s complete surrender to Zionism happened during the protracted and at times angry behind-closed-doors discussions about the text of Resolution 242 – what it should and should not say. (The full story of this surrender is told in Goodbye To The Security Council’s Integrity, Chapter 3 of Volume Three of my book).
The Johnson administration and all others responsible for drafting and then finalizing the resolution’s text were completely aware that the Six Days War of June 1967 was a war of Israeli aggression, not, as Zionism asserted at the time and still asserts today, a war of self-defence.
That being so Resolution 242 of 22 November 1967 ought to have demanded an unconditional Israeli withdrawal and indicated that Israel would be isolated and sanctioned if it refused to comply. And for complete clarity of meaning a binding resolution ought to have stated that Israel should not seek to settle or colonise the newly occupied territories, and that if it did the Security Council would enforce international law and take whatever action was necessary to stop the illegal developments.
But President Johnson refused to have Israel branded as the aggressor.
(This was despite the fact that he was privately furious with the Israelis. He had given them the green light to attack only Egypt and their attack on Syria to take the Golan Heights for keeping provoked the Soviet Union to the brink of military confrontation with the U.S. Johnson was also fully aware that when Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan gave the order for his forces to attack the U.S.S. Liberty his intention was to sink the American spy ship and send all on board to a watery grave. As it happened on 8 June the Israeli attack on the Liberty with bombs, napalm, torpedoes and machine gun fire killed 34 members of the vessel’s crew and wounded 171, 75 of them seriously. The Liberty was attacked to prevent it sending an early warning to the Johnson administration that elements of the IDF’s ground forces in Sinai were being turned around to reinforce an attack on Jordan and Syria. The full story is told in The Liberty Affair – “Pure Murder” on a “Great Day”, Chapter 2 of Volume Three of my book. Who described the attack on the Liberty as “pure murder”? Israel’s chief of staff at the time, Yitzhak Rabin. The “great day” comment was made by Dayan in a note to Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol.).
Though it did pay lip service to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, the final text of Resolution 242 (less than 300 words in all) gave the Israelis the scope to interpret it as they wished. It did so by stating that the establishment of a just and lasting peace should include the application of two principles
(i) Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
This wording enabled Zionism to assert that withdrawal was conditional on the Arab states recognising and legitimising Israel.
In addition Resolution 242 gave Israel the freedom to determine the extent of any withdrawals it might make. This freedom was secured by immense pressure from Israel and the Zionist lobby in all its manifestations which caused those responsible for the final wording of the resolution to drop the definite article “the” in (i) above. The wording of the draft text was (my emphasis added) “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the recent conflict.” The meaning of that draft text was clear. Israel had to withdraw from ALL the Arab territory it grabbed in the Six Days War. But when Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby said that was unacceptable, those responsible for the final version of 242 replied in effect: “Okay. We’ll do it your way.”
So the question without an answer in the final text of 242 was – WHICH Israel were the Arab states required to recognise? An Israel withdrawn to its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war or a Greater Israel – an Israel in permanent occupation of at least some Arab territory grabbed in that war?
Incredible though it may seem today, Resolution 242 did not mention the Palestinians by name. It affirmed only the necessity for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.” Mentioning the Palestinians by name was unacceptable to Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby because it would have implied that they, the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, were a people with rights – rights far greater than what might be called the begging bowl rights normally associated in the public mind with refugees.
But there was more to it than that. At the time the Security Council was agonising over the text of 242, the three major Western powers, the U.S., Britain and France, were united on one thing – the view that the Palestine file was not to be re-opened because, if it was, they might one day have to confront Zionism.
Put another way, in November 1967 the major Western powers were hoping that re-emerging Palestinian nationalism could be snuffed out by a combination of Arab-and-Israeli military action (it was the security forces of Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon which made the first attempt to liquidate the authentic Palestine liberation movement led by Arafat) and compensation for refugees as necessary.
Security Council Resolution 242 was a disaster for all who were seriously committed to working for a just and lasting peace because, effectively, it put Zionism into the diplomatic driving seat.
Some years after 242 was passed I had a private conversation with a very senior British diplomat who participated in the drafting and finalising of it. At the end of our conversation I summarised my understanding of what he told me. He said my summary as follows was correct.
Those responsible for framing Resolution 242 were very much aware that Israel’s hawks were going to proceed with their colonial venture come what may – in determined defiance of international law and no matter what the organised international community said or wanted. So some if not all of those responsible for framing 242 were resigned to the fact that, because of the history of the Jews (persecution on and off down the centuries) and Zionism’s use of the Nazi holocaust as a brainwashing tool, Israel was not and never could be a normal state. As a consequence, there was no point in the Security Council seeking to oblige it to behave like a normal state – i.e. in accordance with international law and its obligations as a member of the UN. Like it or not, and whatever it might mean for the fate of mankind, the world was going to have to live with the fact that there are two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations – one rule for Israel and one for all other nations. In that light Resolution 242 was confirmation that the Security Council had a double standard built into it, and because the political will to confront Zionism did not exist, there was nothing anybody could do to change that reality.
At the time of writing an effort by the Palestine Authority is underway to get a new Security Council resolution calling on Israel to end its occupation within two or three years. But even if such a resolution was introduced and passed (not vetoed by President Obama) it would be meaningless unless it contained a commitment to Security Council enforcement action if Israel refused to comply.
What are the chances in the foreseeable future of a new Security Council resolution containing such a commitment?
In my view there is not a snowball’s chance in hell.
What President Truman feared could happen did happen. On dealing with the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel the Security Council was put out of business by Zionism.