How to Take On Abbas at the United Nations

Dr. Joseph Frager,

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Dr. Joseph Frager
The writer is a leading American pro-Israel activist who sponsors and coordinates many Zionist events. He is clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases) at the Einstein School of Medicine as well as a practicing physician.

On Nov. 29th, 2012 Mahmoud Abbas did the dastardly deed of getting the General Assembly of the United Nations to vote in favor of "Non-Observer Status" for the PLO over the objections of the United States and Israel, Abbas went ahead anyway.

Non-Observer Status gave the right to the PLO to try Israeli Generals, and soldiers at The Hague as war criminals anytime they might like.  This has not yet happened although Abbas threatens to do this frequently and certainly intends to use this "card" if he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning. The United States has helped prevent Abbas from doing this thus far. It could change in a heartbeat.

Abbas has many tricks up his sleeve. The latest one is to petition the Security Council to grant the PLO statehood and set a timetable for Israel to return to pre-1967 lines by 2017. Thank G-d, the United States appears to be saying  it will veto any such resolution at least in its present form. There is no guarantee that this will always be the case. It costs Israel a mega-ton of political capital especially with the current administration each time Abbas digs into the UN play-book. This is not at all lost on Abbas who relishes the thought of putting Israel in this position.

I remember well the attempt by Abbas in Sept. 2011 to get the PLO Statehood in the United Nations. If it had not been for a Press Conference held by then Republican Presidential hopeful Governor Rick Perry of Texas it might have gone through with President Obama's blessings. According to the late Ed Koch the President changed his speech the next day to the UN . Ed Koch then threw his support to President Obama for his second term as a result. However, rather than expending political capital, there is another way to prevent Abbas from using the United Nations as his own personal Amen Corner and Political Club. It is , believe it or not, don't have a coronary either, to use the United Nations itself.

Pioneering work by Shoshana Bekerman and Ambassador Baker of Levy Report fame, have laid the groundwork for such action. All that is needed is for the Prime Minister's office to utilize their ideas. Former Ambassador Oren touched upon it in his recent op-Ed in the New York Times when he stated, that the  " core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the refusal to recognize Jews as a people INDIGENOUS to the region with the right of self government". In 2007 the UN passed a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples as well as their Rights to culture, identity, language,  employment, health , education, and other issues.

In Section 10 it states, "Indigenous people's shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories". In 2004 the UN stated that " Indigenous people's and nations are those which have a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial times". The Jewish People have an overwhelming claim here. From the historic, sociological, and legal definitions there is no doubt that the Jewish People are among the most ancient of indigenous peoples and Israel can with all justification define itself as indigenous in the Land of Israel since 1312 BCE.

The Roman Invasion exiled us from our Land. Canadian MP Prof. Irwin Cotler stated it best," Israel rooted  in the Jewish People as an Abrahimic people is a prototypical  First Nation or aboriginal people just as the Jewish religion is a prototypical aboriginal religion". This is very significant with regard to the Rights of all Jews in relation to their ancestral home of Israel including Jewish residents in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights especially at this critical time when Abbas is using the UN to unilaterally declare a PLO state. The UN has to be called on the mat.

It can't have it both ways. It can't declare a PLO State and at the same time contradict and negate its own Declaration of Indigenous People's of which the Jewish People have the ultimate claim. The Prime Minister must make this issue paramount.