- On June 9, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Palestinian
leadership divided over plan to seek UN recognition," saying:
- Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are "sharply
divided over the unilateral move to seek" UN General Assembly recognition
in September. Abbas wants it. Others don't "because they believe (it)
could do more harm than good to their cause," hurting Israel perhaps
but not helping themselves.
- Those opposed include Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (a
former World Bank/IMF official closely tied to Israeli/Washington/Western
interests), former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, and former Palestinian
UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa.
- Ravid said al-Qudwa's "opposition is particularly
significant because he is considered the most experienced Palestinian official
(in) dealing with the United Nations." He's also a possible presidential
- At issue is strong Israeli/Washington opposition in contrast
to most other countries. Last March, in fact, Israel told UN Security Council
members and other prominent EU countries it will act unilaterally if the
General Assembly grants de jure membership in September inside 1967 borders,
22% of historic Palestine.
- At the same time, Rafael Barak, Director General of Israel's
Foreign Ministry, cabled over 30 Israeli embassies, telling them to lodge
high-level diplomatic protests against Palestinian efforts for recognition,
claiming (without justification that) doing so violates Oslo and may cause
- Foreign Ministry sources also said no response decision
was taken on if de jure membership is granted. Some sources suggest it
will refuse recognition and more, including annexing West Bank settlements,
all East Jerusalem, closed military zones, restricted tourist locations,
and Israeli commercial developments, leaving isolated urban areas and worthless
scrub land for Palestine.
- Although Obama told the General Assembly in September
2010 he favored Palestinian statehood in a year, he categorically rejects
PA officials seeking it unilaterally to let Israel decide its terms, size,
locations and timetable. In other words, he supports Israeli veto power
of Palestinian sovereignty, an unacceptable condition under international
- On May 19, in fact, a new White House.gov site headlined,
"President Obama: Advancing Israel's Security and Supporting Peace,"
- "Our commitment to Israel's security is unshakable,"
stating he wants "core issues (including Palestinian de jure UN membership
and statehood) negotiated and resolved in direct talks between the parties,"
despite all previously failed efforts, assuring no possibility of success
- He then "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
- Moreover, 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."
- However, former PLO legal advisor Professor Francis Boyle
said 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
- 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.
- It can also enact a complete international statehood
legal system, requiring all members refrain from recognizing Israel's illegal
occupation. 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. It's high time that happened, spurning
Israeli/Washington pressure to stop it by affirming status quo illegalities.
- On June 8, Boyle's Countercurrents article headlined,
"The Case for Palestine's UN Membership," summarizing key issues
in the debate as follows:
- -- "On November 15, 1988, the Palestinian National
Council (PNC)....proclaimed the Palestinian Declaration of Independence
that created the independent state of Palestine."
- -- Today, about 130 or more nations recognize it de jure,
including most European ones.
- -- Only massive US pressure so far blocked it.
- -- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) also recognizes
a de jure independent Palestine.
- -- Currently, it has UN Observer State Status excluding
only the right to vote, what official September recognition will grant.
- -- Only Washington's threatened Security Council veto
prevents de jure membership, "which is clearly illegal because it
would violate a solemn and binding pledge given" not to do so against
any state seeking UN membership.
- -- Whether this September or later, Palestine will "become
a full-fledged UN Member State." Neither Washington or Israel can
- -- Enough support, in fact, now exists, "pursuant
to the terms of (the General Assembly's) Uniting for Peace Resolution (1950)."
- -- The GA has sole authority to admit new members, not
the Security Council.
- -- If Obama uses his veto as threatened, the General
Assembly can circumvent him "under the Uniting for Peace Resolution
to admit Palestine as a UN Member State in September."
- It's now the PA's choice whether to seek it, as well
as a two-thirds General Assembly majority affirming their supportive pledge,
refusing to let illegal Washington/Israeli bullying stop them.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive
Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central
time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy