The United Nations Security Council debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, was not quite business as usual as the council was given a lesson on the Bible.
In what was an unusual sight for the Security Council, Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon during his speech covered his head with a black Yarmulke and picked up the Hebrew Bible and quoted from Genesis where G-d spoke to Abraham.
“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, all the land of Cana’an, for an everlasting possession. And I will be their G-d.”
Danon added: “This is our deed to our land.” He noted that the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel is mentioned over a dozen times in the Hebrew Bible.
“From the book of Genesis; to the Jewish exodus from Egypt; to receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai… and to the realization of G-d’s covenant in the Holy Land of Israel; the Bible paints a consistent picture. The entire history of our people, and our connection to (the Land of Israel), begins right here.”
The Israeli ambassador then turned his attention to the upcoming U.S. peace plan and criticized the Palestinians for calling it, “dead on arrival.” He read out a long list of other peace plans rejected by the Arabs and Palestinians including the 1947 U.N. partition plan, the Camp David Summit of 2000, the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and the Kerry peace initiative of 2014.
Danon called on the Palestinians to “accept and recognize the Jewish State of Israel. No Palestinian leader has ever said those words,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour, speaking ahead of Danon, seemed to take a veiled swipe at President Trump’s negotiating team, as he warned that concessions made by the Palestinians for peace cannot be, “dismissed or ridiculed by newcomers to peacemaking.”
He warned the U.S. about its pending peace plan.
“We reiterate: any initiative detached from international law and the relevant UN resolutions and dismissive of human rights can neither be viable, nor just, and will not succeed.”
While he condemned the United States for recent unilateral actions including its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and its sovereignty over the Golan Heights Mansour surprisingly left the meeting just as his Israeli counterpart began his remarks. Only returning once he had finished.
Reached after the meeting Danon told Fox News that, “Instead of leaving during my speech, the Palestinian representative should have stayed in the room and learned some of the history of our region. If the Palestinian representative does not have the courage to sit as I speak on behalf of the State of Israel, how can we expect Abbas and his government to engage with us in good faith?”