UN marks first 'Nakba Day' as Israel urges countries to boycott

Nearly 50 nations shunned the ceremonies at the UN General Assembly


2GNCCYG New York, USA. 24th Sep, 2021. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the 76th General Debate of the UN General Assembly at United Nations (UN) Headquarters. The 76th General Debate of the UN General Assembly is taking place this week. Some 80 heads of state and government are taking part. Steinmeier is the first German President to address the UN General Assembly in almost 40 years. The first and so far only Federal President to appear before the UN body was President Carstens in 1983. Credit: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa/Alamy Live News

(JNS) Nearly 50 countries have boycotted the first official 'Nakba Day' event at the United Nations General Assembly.

Yesterday marked the first official U.N. commemoration of the "Nakba", after a resolution passed in December last year.

In Arabic, the word "Nakba" means “disaster” or “catastrophe,” in relation to the establishment of modern-day Israel on May 14, 1948.

The ceremonies took place Monday morning at the United Nations and included an address from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

In his speech, Abbas attacked the United States and the United Kingdom, claiming that the two bear responsibility for the current Palestinian by establishing Israel for their own political goals, victimizing the Palestinian people

“These countries wanted to get rid of their Jews and benefit from their presence in (British Mandatory) Palestine,” Abbas said.

Abbas called for the United Nations to suspend Israel as a member if it does not grant Palestinians a state and demanded the so-called “right of return” for millions of Palestinian refugees’ descendants.

He also claimed falsely that Israel agreed to this provision in 1947 in order to be accepted as a U.N. member state.

The United States and the United Kingdom announced last week that they would not participate in Monday’s events, drawing Abbas’ ire. Israel’s U.N. mission and Foreign Ministry campaigned to convince other member states to forgo attending.

Some 45 countries reportedly didn't attend the events, including Ukraine, 10 European Union member states, three African nations and Canada.

Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, sent a letter to colleagues on Sunday urging them not to take part in “Nakba Day” ceremonies. “The thought that an international organization could mark the establishment of one of its member states as a catastrophe or disaster is both appalling and repulsive,” he wrote.

Erdan warned that attending one-sided initiatives such as a “Nakba Day” event “gives a green light to the Palestinians to continue exploiting international organs to promote their libelous narrative.” It also contributes to Jew-hatred, he said.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala, Italy and Peru were reportedly among the others boycotting Monday’s event.

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