Saturday May 18, 2013
Will the Palestine Authority Seek Non-Member Status in the United Nations?Ralph E. Stone Salem-News.com
At most non-member status would be symbolic but it might calm the Palestinian populace.
(SAN FRANCISCO) - In September 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, formally requested full United Nations membership for his as yet undefined country. The initiative developed during a two-year impasse in negotiations with Israel that followed the latter's refusal to freeze its settlement activities in the West Bank. The request failed because Palestine was unable to garner enough support in the UN Security Council, and faced strong opposition, including the threat of veto, from the United States.
Now the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced plans to seek non-member state status in the UN, which would only require a majority vote of the members of the General Assembly. It would not need approval of the Security Council. There is every reason to believe that it would get majority approval.
The PA presently has observer status, which gives it the right to speak at UN General Assembly meetings, participate in procedural votes, and to sponsor and sign resolutions, but not to vote on resolutions and other substantive matters.
Non-member observers, on the other hand, are recognized as sovereign states. This would give the PA access to UN's institutions like the International Criminal Court, and, it would make clear that they are living under occupation, not in what Israelis sometimes call “disputed territory.”
Why would the PA seeking non-member status? Because peace negotiations with Israel have been long stalled and Israel continues settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the PA considers illegal. For example, for the first time since 2005, new unauthorized outposts (http://peacenow.org.il/eng/
In addition, the economic and political conditions in Palestine have deteriorated, for which many Palestinians blame the PA. At most non-member status would be symbolic but it might calm the Palestinian populace.
The U.S. and Israel will probably retaliate against the PA if it seeks non-member status. In fact, on November 6, 2012, Israel announced that it was pushing ahead with construction of more than 1,200 houses in two Jewish enclaves in East Jerusalem. This is an apparent warning to the PA to rethink asking for non-member status at the UN.
Netanyahu began his tenure with the Bar Ilan Speech (http://www.haaretz.com/news/
On November 1, 2012, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to return to the negotiations table and discuss the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.
But consider that Israeli elections for the 120-member Knesset, or parliament, are set for January 2013. A Dahaf poll (http://knessetjeremy.com/
Will the PA formally seek non-member status in the UN or will it be cowed by U.S. and Israeli threats of retaliation? By doing nothing, Israel will slowly take over the entire country and drive out the non-Jewish population.
Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address firstname.lastname@example.org
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