NEW YORK – Almost seventy years have passed since the United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.
This fall, to commemorate the anniversary, the Israeli Mission to the UN has decided to step back in time.
On November 29, the day the resolution was passed in 1947, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon will host a reenactment of the historic vote, where it happened, in the main gallery of the Queens Museum, which hosted the UN General Assembly back then.
“We prepared ourselves for this year, because it is the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and we have the 70th anniversary of this important resolution,” Danon told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“I had a few talks with my colleagues in the UN and they love the idea,” he continued.
“There is a lot of excitement about it because it’s a positive event, and we will continue to have a positive agenda while the Palestinians, probably on the same day, will have their usual event of the 29th.”
Although it is a celebratory day for Israel, November 29 also marks International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, observed annually by the United Nations. On that day last year, the General Assembly passed six resolutions condemning Israel and supporting the Palestinians.
“While they will continue with their hatred and incitement, I think we should take pride in that resolution and especially what we have accomplished in the last 70 years,” Danon said.
Hosting the reenactment, he told the Post, is also a way to remind the UN of the role it had in creating the State of Israel, and telling the story of the past seven decades.
Diplomats from nations that voted for the establishment of the state will take part in the event along with their colleagues from around the world. Jewish community leaders and pro-Israel activists will attend as well. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Israeli officials have also been invited.
Finding the original hall in which the partition plan was adopted was a key element of the organization of the event, Danon said. During the reenactment of the vote, the hall will be redesigned to appear in its original state, with a giant map of the world on the wall, a podium, and three seating sections. Delegates of member states will sit in their designated seats from 1947.
“When we walked in, seeing the original hall, it was very impressive and we decided it will be an amazing event to do it in the original place,” Danon said. “We have videos of the original vote, and we will try to recreate the atmosphere as it was back then. We will try to make sure it is as close to the original as possible.”
In the 1947 vote, 33 member-states voted in favor of the Partition Plan, 13 against it and 10 countries abstained.
Danon said that despite the ongoing battle Israel faces at the UN, the event will allow people to see the support the country received in the days of its establishment.
“Every time we’re in the Security Council, I feel that the Palestinians are rejecting any attempt to negotiate with Israelis, but when you analyze what happened 70 years ago, it started back then, when they decided to leave the room and not to accept the Partition Plan,” he said. “It might be different leaders, but still it’s the same approach of not accepting any agreement.”
The event will be “symbolic not only to the people who will take part in it, but also to everyone that supports Israel around the world,” Danon said.