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May 11: Israel Joins the United Nations

Lawrence Bush
May 11, 2010

UN_FlagOn this date in 1949, Israel became a member nation of the United Nations. The UN had created the Jewish state with Resolution 181 (November 29, 1947), which partitioned Palestine by a vote of 33-13-10 (no Arab country voted for partition). Many subsequent UN resolutions, however, sought to make Israel a pariah state, most notably General Assembly Resolution 2379 (1975), which identified Zionism as a form of racism and as “a threat to world peace and security” (the resolution was repealed in 1991 by a vote of 111-25). Since 1961, Israel has been barred from the Asia regional group to which it properly belongs, which disqualified it from a seat in the Security Council, on the Human Rights Commission, and within other UN bodies until, to overcome these handicaps, Israel became a temporary member of the Western Europe and Others regional group in 2000. “Palestinians and their supporters will never be truly effective,” said Secretary General Kofi Annan in his last address to the Security Council on the Middle East (December 12, 2006), “if they focus solely on Israel’s transgressions, without conceding any justice or legitimacy to Israel’s own concerns, and without being willing to admit that Israel’s oponents have themselves committed appalling and inexcusable crimes. . . . We must never forget that Jews have very good historical reasons for taking seriously any threat to Israel’s existence.”
“If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” —Abba Eban

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.