- In September, when the General Assembly meets (beginning
9/13), Palestinians will seek de jure UN membership. Unless current policy
changes, it will ask for official recognition as an independent sovereign
state. Currently, it has Observer State Status only, denying its right
- Israel opposes recognition. So does Obama, both Houses
of Congress, and The New York Times.
- Earlier articles explained the following:
- (1) Last March, Israel told UN Security Council members
and other prominent EU countries it will act unilaterally if the General
Assembly grants Palestine de jure membership in September inside 1967 borders,
22% of historic Palestine.
- (2) If granted, Israel will likely deny recognition,
continuing its illegal occupation, this time against a sovereign country.
Moreover, expect it to accelerate West Bank/East Jerusalem land seizures,
isolating Palestinians on smaller portions of worthless scrub land.
- (3) While rhetorically favoring Palestinian statehood,
Obama categorically rejects PA officials seeking it unilaterally. Instead,
he wants Israel to decide its terms, size, locations and timetable. In
other words, he supports Israeli veto power of Palestinian rights, including
sovereignty, an unacceptable/illegal condition under international law.
- In a White House statement, he also "emphasized
that a vote at the United Nations will never create an independent Palestinian
state" even though defying a two-thirds majority General Assembly
affirmation is illegal. More on that below.
- (4) Last December 15, Congress (by voice vote) passed
HR 1765: "Supporting a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian
state, and for other purposes," including:
- "affirm(ing) that the United States would deny recognition
to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and veto any (Security Council
resolution) to establish or recognize (one) outside of an agreement by
the two parties."
- Obama endorses this policy.
- However, Washington earlier provisionally recognized
Palestine as an independent nation. According to UN Charter Article 80(1),
it can't reverse its position by vetoing a Security Council (SC) resolution
calling for Palestine's UN admission.
- Any veto is illegal, subject to further SC action under
the Charter's Chapter VI. Ultimately, the SC only recommends admissions.
The General Assembly affirms them by a two-thirds majority. At this time,
enough support exists to get it.
- Moreover, UN Charter Article 80(1) and others empower
the General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood and take all necessary
measures to end Israel's illegal occupation. If sovereignty is granted,
it's more than ever essential to do so, holding Israel fully accountable
for not complying.
- Up to now, however, Washington's threatened Security
Council veto prevented de jure membership, despite its illegality under
international law and its pledge not to do so against any state seeking
- In fact, the General Assembly has sole authority to admit
new members, not the Security Council. If Washington uses its veto as threatened,
the GA can circumvent it under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution.
- Next month we'll know three things:
- -- whether Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will follow
through on his promise to seek sovereignty and de jure UN membership through
the General Assembly;
- -- if so, whether a majority of member states will defy
Washington/Israeli bullying by acting responsibly; and
- -- if de jure membership and sovereignty are granted,
will Washington and Israel retaliate repressively.
- Moreover, it's a long time from now to mid-September,
plenty for hardball Israeli/Washington tactics to subvert the process or
intimidate Abbas to remain a collaborationist Israeli ally and do it for
- New York Times Endorses Wrong Over Right
- On August 7, its editorial headlined, "Palestinians
and the UN," saying:
- We "have sympathy for their yearning and their frustration,"
but nowhere near enough nor respect for international law.
- "If the Palestinians want full UN membership, they
have to win the backing of the Security Council."
- Fact check: false as explained above.
- "The United States will undoubtedly veto any resolution."
- Fact check: true, but doing so is illegal. The Times
- "The Palestinians (will either) ask the General
Assembly to recognize them as a state or give them observer status as a
- Fact check: Palestine already has observer status - in
1974 to the PLO, then in 1998 to participate in general debates with other
rights, except to vote.
- "The best way, likely the only way, to (avoid being
"more alienated") is with the start of serious negotiations between
Israelis and Palestinians."
- Fact check: Like surgical pain to remove a cancer, Washington/Israeli
retaliation may be part of the package for freedom. The alternative is
continued repressive occupation vital to end.
- In addition, Israel (like Washington) doesn't negotiate
or compromise. It demands. Expecting another way now is delusional. In
fact, suggesting it is duplicitous.
- "The White House is working with Israel and the
Quartet (US/EU/UN/Russia) on a statement setting out parameters for negotiations."
- Fact check: False. The White House, as always, is obstructionist
on everything opposing Israeli interests, notably on granting Palestinians
independence within 1967 borders, 22% of historic Palestine, as well as
East Jerusalem as its capital, free from Israeli occupation.
- "To have any chance of inducing the Palestinians
to drop their statehood bid - and finally move the peace process forward
- the United States and its partners should put a map and a deal on the
table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations...."
- Fact check: A "map" already is "on the
table." It's the entire West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, nothing
less, and no land swaps benefitting Israel. Moreover, the so-called "peace
process" was stillborn from inception because neither Israel or Washington
will tolerate it.
- Pretending otherwise is contemptibly betraying 44 years
of liberating struggle so far unachieved. Of course, The Times notoriously
betrays its readers by misreporting and suppressing important truths. Its
August 7 editorial is one of many examples, its pages a daily sinkhole
of many others as firm policy.
- A Final Comment
- On August 8, Mondoweiss.net cited an unnamed retired
US diplomat, commenting on Palestinian issues. Among others raised, he
discussed the following:
- -- Palestinians have largely given up on America now
and henceforth because of its one-sided bias toward Israel.
- -- In September, Mahmoud Abbas will seek Security Council
approval for de jure UN membership, knowing a Washington veto will prevent
it. As a result, Palestinians will "make this an annual exercise,"
repeating the same futile process.
- -- Ahead of the September meeting, Abbas will encourage
anti-Israeli demonstrations. They'll be met by IDF violence. "There
is a real fear that the Palestinian security services will somehow be caught
in the middle" and be destroyed "as happened during the second
- -- "Reconciliation with Hamas is on hold until after
- -- Even optimistic Israelis "are deeply pessimistic
and see Israel as an isolated, right-wing country with no hope for negotiations."
In fact, some long-time citizens "said if they knew what Israel has
become, they would never have made aliyah (immigrated)."
- -- Throughout Israel and Occupied Palestine, "disillusionment"
is the highest he's seen in 40 years. He also thinks Washington "finally
reached the end of the road and totally destroyed its credibility."
Moreover, some Israelis have as much contempt for America as for Palestinians.
- His analysis suggests what others know and affirm:
- -- That Israel and Washington will block all Palestinian
attempts for liberating sovereignty and freedom, including ending 44 years
of illegal occupation.
- -- They're on their own to achieve it, making it crucial
to use the General Assembly, not the Security Council.
- -- If current PA leaders won't do it, they must be replaced
by others who will.
- -- Delaying only buys Israel more time to seize all valued
West Bank land it wishes and all East Jerusalem, shutting out Palestinians
- As a result, going for broke this September is essential.
Delaying for another year is conceding defeat and denying the aspirations
of millions of Palestinians who deserve better. It's high time they got
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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