Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor tore apart several myths Monday in an “Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East" in the United Nations Security Council.
After quoting Winston Churchill’s statement, “In the time that it takes a lie to get halfway around the world, the truth is still getting its pants on,” Prosor methodically brought up and tore apart myths that he said have fertile ground in the Middle East.
“Facts often remain buried in the sand. The myths forged in our region travel abroad – and can surprisingly find their way into these halls,” He said.
- Myth number one: “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is the central conflict in the Middle East. If you solve that conflict, you solve all the other conflicts in the region.” Prosor told the Council members. “The truth is that conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, and many other parts of the Middle East have absolutely nothing to do with Israel.
“It is obvious that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict won’t stop the persecution of minorities across the region, end the subjugation of women, or heal the sectarian divides. Obsessing over Israel has not stopped Assad’s tanks from flattening entire communities. On the contrary, it has only distracted attention from his crimes.
"Thousands are being killed in Syria, hundreds in Yemen, dozens in Iraq — and yet, this debate again repeatedly is focusing on the legitimate actions of the government of the only democracy in the Middle East. And dedicating the majority of this debate to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, month after month after month after month, has not stopped the Iranian regime’s centrifuges from spinning.
- Myth number two: “There is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.”
The Ambassador pointed out that even the Deputy Head of the Red Cross Office and “numerous international organizations have said clearly that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”
He added, Gaza’s real GDP grew by more than 25 percent during the first three quarters of 2011. There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza today. Yet, as aid flows into the area, missiles fly out. This is the crisis in Gaza.”
- Myth number three: “Settlements are the primary obstacle to peace.”
Prosor said he can save time for the UN Human Rights Council, which has proposed another ‘fact-finding’ mission to Israel – this time to explore Israeli settlements. He said that “the facts have already been found,” explaining that when Egypt and Jordan controlled Judea, Samaria and Gaza between 1948 and 1967, “The Arab World did nothing – it did not lift a finger – to create a Palestinian state. And it sought Israel’s annihilation when not a single settlement stood anywhere in the West Bank or Gaza.
Prosor charged that the Arab world’s “primary obstacle to peace is not settlements [but]…is the so-called ‘claim of return’ – and the Palestinian’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
He said that claims that Israel is “Judaizing Jerusalem” are “accusations [that] come about 3,000 years too late. It’s like accusing the NBA of Americanizing basketball.” Prosor also said that the percentage of Arab residents in Jerusalem has grown from 26 percent in 1967 to 35 percent during the period that Israel supposed has been exercising “ethnic cleansing.”
- Another myth the Security Council has overlooked for the past 64 years, when Israel was reestablished as a state. is the “one great untold story, or – to be more specific – …more than 850,000 untold stories [of] Jews…uprooted from their homes in Arab countries,” he said.
Prosor pointed out, “These were vibrant communities dating back 2,500 years [but]…were wiped out. Age-old family businesses and properties were confiscated. Jewish quarters were destroyed. Pogroms left synagogues looted, graveyards desecrated and thousands dead."
“The pages that the UN has written about the Palestinian refugees could fill up soccer stadiums, but not a drop of ink has been spilled about the Jewish refugees.
-- He told the Council he “saved the most obvious myth for last: the myth that peace can somehow be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians by bypassing direct negotiations. History has shown that peace and negotiations are inseparable."
“Palestinian leaders continue to pile up new pre-conditions for sitting with Israel. They are everywhere except the negotiating table.“