September 28, 2020

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The meaning of "occupied Palestine" has changed a lot at the UN

In 1992, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution 1992/4, entitled “Situation in occupied Palestine.” Since then the Secretary General issues a report every year on what evil things Israel is allegedly doing in the territories.

But the phrase “occupied Palestine” goes much further back in the UN archives.

For example, in 1972, the Syrian representative said, “In that connexion, it would be relevant to draw attention to the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Zionist Israeli forces in the occupied Arab territories, in occupied Palestine since 1947 and against the civilian population of the Arab States. “

The Palestinian representative in 1965 said, “Responsibility for the tragedy of the Palestine Arabs fell squarely on the Western Powers in general and on the United States in particular. They provided the artificial Zionist regime in occupied Palestine with political, financial, military and technical  assistance. “

Here’s an example from 1966 where the delegate from Sudan used the term – and went on to essentially threaten war to destroy Israel if the UN didn’t do the bidding of Muslim nations.

In 1962, the Pakistani delegate said, “According to the most moderate estimates, the income from Arab property in occupied Palestine amounts to more than £47,500,000 a year…”

In these cases, “occupied Palestine” doesn’t mean the territories Israel gained in 1967, but the areas under Jewish control since 1948.

Within the Arab world, the phrase “occupied Palestine” remained in its original meaning of “whatever territory is controlled by Jews” way after 1967. In 1981 the Al Quds Committee recommended in a document stored at the UN ,”To take the necessary measures to put an end to the Jewish exodus to occupied Palestine, since this is the main source of the Jewish manpower which is building Israel and creating the fait accompli of the settlement of the occupied Arab territories, and of occupied Palestine, first and foremost Al-Quds. These measures include making the necessary contacts with countries that permit the Jewish exodus or facilitate it through their territories with a view to ending this exodus and to encouraging the exodus of Jews from occupied Palestine to other countries.”

So “occupied Palestine” has one meaning when the UN uses it and quite another when Muslims use it. It was more explicit before 1967 but even way after that date, all of Israel has been considered “occupied Palestine.”

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