European Coalition for Israel has been part of a consortium of Jewish organizations that hosted the 70th anniversary of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 at the Queens Museum in New York, which in 1947 was the headquarters of the newly created United Nations. U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, also called the U.N. Partition Plan, called for the creation of a Jewish state in the land of Israel alongside an Arab state.
But in speeches from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, Ambassador Ronald Lauder from the World Jewish Congress and Israeli Minister Yisrael Katz it was made clear that it was not the U.N. who created the Jewish state, but the Jewish people themselves.
"The United Nations did not create the Jewish state, they simply reaffirmed the natural and irrevocable rights of the Jewish people to their own state in their historical homeland," U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pointed out at the event.
"Israel did not need a resolution to call for its existence, because its right to exist is self-evident and timeless," Pence said.
Ambassador Ronald Lauder from the World Jewish Congress reminded the audience that Jews had been living in Judea for eight centuries before they were dispersed from the land by the Romans in 135 AD.
"We know who we are and we know where we came from. This is why we are called Jews. These historical facts cannot be changed by any new UNESCO resolutions or others who try to deny our history," he said.
Permanent Representative of Israel to the U.N., Ambassador Danny Danon thanked the 33 nations that voted for U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947 but went on to say that today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 nations.
"Today there are peace treaties with former enemies such as Egypt and Jordan and growing relations with many other Arab countries, especially in the Gulf region."
Each speaker quoted from the Bible in explaining how the miracle of 1947 was possible.
"While Israel was built by human hands, it is impossible not to also see the hands from heaven," Mike Pence said.
Ambassador Danon called the U.N. vote on Nov. 29 "the longest three minutes in Jewish history" but saw the results as a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, which speaks of a time when the Jews will return to Israel.
European Coalition for Israel was part of the organizing committee behind the event, which was hosted by the Israeli permanent representation to the U.N. ECI was represented by Founding Director Tomas Sandell, ECI Director of U.N. Affairs Gregory Lafitte and Honorary Chairman J. Rudolf Geigy.
"Our presence here today as the only non-Jewish organization in the hosting committee is important in that it shows that support for the State of Israel extends beyond the Jewish world," Tomas Sandell explained.
"U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 is a historical achievement that we can be truly proud of." While the Jewish people did not receive all that had been promised to them by the international community in 1920, it re-affirmed the right to self-determination of the Jewish people in their historical homeland.
"The singular message from this commemoration is that the Jewish people said yes to peace and co-existence already in 1947 and have continued to do so for the last 70 years."
"It is now high time that also the enemies of the Jewish state recognize that Israel is here to stay and come back to the negotiating table."