General Assembly - Plenary
The world cannot ignore the conflicts in the Middle East, particularly
those between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It is time to face
the fact that these are problems with global consequences, and the international
community must begin practical solutions.
All nations were affected by the events of September 11. It is unfortunate
that it took such a catastrophic event to wake the "sleeping giant"
to the concerns of terrorism abroad as well as in the Middle East. There
isn't any nation that can go about their daily business without the
fear that they too could be attacked without warning. Israel/Palestine
is a mounting concern for all nations. It is imperative that we stop
ignoring the conflicts in the Middle East, and actively seeks solutions.
We need to stop turning a blind eye toward the conflict, and start taking
the necessary steps toward peace. This is a process that at the center
will be a united front of all nations. Any nation that continues to
ignore the concerns in the Middle East is inviting conflict in their
In 1947-At the end of the Second World War Palestine was
a territory administered by The United Kingdom under a mandate from
the League of Nations. The Assembly established a committee of 11 States
to investigate all matters relating to the question of Palestine and
to recommend solutions. The majority in the Committee recommended that
Palestine be partitioned into an Arab State and Jewish State, with special
international status for Jerusalem.
November 29, 1947- The Assembly adopted resolution 181
by whose terms it approved the partition plan of the majority. The plan
was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs, because they would oppose
any scheme which provided for the dissection, segregation or partition
of their country, or which gave special and preferential rights and
status to a minority.
May 1948- The relinquishing of the mandate by the United
Kingdom and the declaration of the Jewish State sparked a war between
Arab and Jewish communities in the area. Fighting continued despite
the efforts of a United Nations mediator.
July 1948- By the time a truce called for by the Security
Council came into force Israel controlled much of the territory originally
allotted to the Arab State. Jordan and Egypt respectively administered
the remaining portions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The events of 1947-1948 created a serious refugee problem,
with thousands of Palestinians being uprooted and ending up in Jordan,
Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria or Kuwait. The United Nations quickly
set up the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees
in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the refugees. In December 1948,
the Assembly declared that refugees must be permitted to return to their
homes and live in peace with their neighbors, and that those choosing
not to return should be compensated. Under resolution 194, the Assembly
called for the demilitarization and internationalization of Jerusalem.
The resolution was never implemented, but its provisions on the special
status of the city and the right of Palestinian refugees to return have
been reasserted by the Assembly virtually every year since 1948.
1956 and in 1967- The affairs of the Middle East changed with
the Six Day War of 1967 between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It
ended with Israel occupying the Egyptian Sinai, the Gaza Strip, The
West Bank and part of the Syrian Golan Heights. The UN Security Council
called upon Israel to ensure the safety and welfare of the inhabitants
where military operations had taken place, and to help in returning
the refugees displaced by the war. Israel/Arab dispute continued for
the next 20 years. It turned to open hostility in...
October 1973- Another Israel/Arab war broke out. The Council
called for an immediate truce and asked the parties to begin the implementation
of resolution 242 immediately after the ceasefire. The Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO), joined by Arab States, criticized the resolutions
for reducing the Palestinian problem to a question of international
charity and for reducing the Palestinians to the status of refugees
without national political rights.
Present- Conflicts between the PLO and Israel continue
to hurt the peace process. There was a ray of hope in 1994 when PLO
leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and Israeli
Foreign Minister Shimon Perez won the Nobel Peace Price for the
Oslo Accords. After the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin, November 4, 1995, the peace process took a severe blow,
and has yet to regain the lost ground.