Just yesterday morning,CBC Radio’s “The Current” news program featured an interview with host Anna Maria Tremonti and Linda Sobeh Ali, the Charge D’Affaires for the Palestinian General Delegation to Canada on the topic of the Palestinian bid for statehood.
In comments eerily reminiscent of Libby Davies of the NDP and Helen Thomas, formerly of Hearst News Service, Ms. Sobeh Ali claimed that Israel has been occupying territories since 1948, the year Israel declared its independence:
Sobeh Ali: “Remember that Israel was created by war and then they went unilaterally and submitted their application to the UN and they were admitted as a state. We are occupied in result of that war that Israel used to occupy and then they were declared as a state.“
In making these statements, Ms. Sobeh Ali, the official Palestinian representative in Canada, has essentially claimed that Israel has no right to exist. Comments which this CBC host left unchallenged. Additionally, Ms. Sobeh Ali engaged in historical revisionism by suggesting that Israel “was created by war and then went unilaterally and submitted” an application to the UN. In reality,Israel was created by UN resolution 181 which was meant to partition the land into one Jewish state and one Arab state.Israel declared its independence and was immediately attacked by five Arab armies and not the other way around as Ms. Sobeh Ali would like you to believe.
To suggest, as this seasoned diplomat has done, that Israel has “occupied” territory since its creation in 1948 is inflammatory and false. Unless the Palestinian Authority unequivocally apologizes on behalf of its own diplomat for uttering these odious statements, it will be said that the PA agrees with Ms. Sobeh Ali’s contention that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist. Since, in his recent speech to the UN, Mahmoud Abbas referred to 63 years of “occupation”, we don’t expect this to occur. Abbas’ reference to 63 years of “occupation” implies that the birth of the Israeli state in 1948 was a historical mistake in need of rectification. Ms. Sobeh Ali appears to be parroting this line.
As to whether Ms. Sobeh Ali is fit to serve as a diplomat here in Canada, we will leave this matter up to the relevant diplomatic officials who oversee and vet international credentials. However, should she be interviewed in the future by Canadian media outlets, we expect that her inflammatory remarks that questioned Israel’s right to exist will be widely documented by journalists for the public’s benefit.