UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People coincides with the latest violence spike in Jerusalem

Published November 24th, 2015 - 03:58 GMT
At the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, many speakers shared their grievances against Israel and argued the state was to blame for continued violence in Jerusalem.  (AFP/Abbas Momani)
At the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, many speakers shared their grievances against Israel and argued the state was to blame for continued violence in Jerusalem. (AFP/Abbas Momani)

On Monday morning, a teenaged Palestinian girl was wounded and another killed after an attempted stabbing attack near a Jerusalem market, said Israeli police. That same day marked the annual UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

What a way to celebrate.

Although the day of solidarity was held this Monday, its typical date of observance is November 29—the anniversary of the day in 1947 when the UN voted to divide Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. It’s also the same day in 2012 when Palestine was recognized as a non-member observer state.

This year the day was instead framed within the recent wave of attacks, and many speakers claimed Israel was to blame for fueling the violence across the region due to their continued occupation of Arab and Palestinian territory. Al-Aqsa mosque was also a point of contention.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi called out Israeli aggressions against al-Aqsa, warning that such actions “feed extremism, violence and racism, and contribute to igniting religious strife that would endanger the prospects of peace and stability in the region,” he said in a speech read out by his representative.

Speaker, one after another, echoed claims of Israeli racism, “apartheid,” and acting “above the law.”

Meanwhile, Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, brought a collage of photos of some 20 Israelis killed in knife attacks since early October. Palestinian officials cite 90 Palestinian deaths in the same period.

Danon went on to say, “This is a shameful day for the United Nations” which is used “as a platform to attack Israel.” And he called upon the international community to “rip off the Palestinian mask of lies.”

Voting on a series of motions to condemn Israel took place among the General Assembly after the speeches. The 193-nation body passed 20 decisions, among which criticizing Israel’s settlement policy, damaging the character of Jerusalem and bearing responsibility for violence in the conflict.

By Elizabeth Tarbell


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