Saturday, September 10, 2011

United Nations’ Vote for Palestinian State

September 5, 2011

By Saeed Qureshi

The Palestinian National Authority will make a formal request to seek recognition as a state at the annual session of the UNO starting on September 20.While United States is dissuading PLA from moving such a resolution in UNO, it is equally determined to veto such a request to the UN Security Council for recognition and thus deprive the Palestinians of their legitimate right to the statehood.

In case the USA and Israel cannot block the voting or diminish the number of votes in the United Nations for the defeat of the PLA resolution, The United Nations will elevate the existing status of the Palestinians’ “nonvoting observer entity” to that of a “nonvoting observer state”.

In the meantime United States is approaching the world capitals to exhort them not to vote for the Palestinian request for the recognition of the status of statehood in the United Nations.

America is also utilizing the so called “Quartet Group” specially constituted to deal with the Middle East, to send fresh peace proposals to the United Nations members to keep them away from the voting. The group comprises United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

As a part of her strategy to thwart or minimize the number of votes in favor of PNA initiative, the Obama administration approached some 70 countries around the world not to cast vote for the Palestinian move.

As such the USA is heavily bending over backward to keep hedging its protégé Israel and deprive the people of Palestine their legitimate right to join the other nations as a state although without any right to vote in the United Nations. It would be a symbolic recognition.

Obviously the United State’s bid is to derail or stall the proposed move by the Palestinians so that another year goes without giving this right to the beleaguered nation of Palestine.

Simultaneously, the USA would pull all the strings and mobilize all its efforts to win for Israel, the acceptance of Israel’s demand for recognition of its status as a Jewish state. The most pressing and thorny issues of the fast emerging new Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the status of Jerusalem would be left untouched.

The diplomatic thrust that United States has launched for quite some time is three-pronged. It wants the Palestinians not to move for voting in the United Nations for a recognized status as a state.

It wants to open new phase of negotiations between the two contenders to start afresh the peace parleys and narrow their divergences as far as possible.They also want both sides to keep intact the security arrangements in the West Bank and along Israel border with the land under the control of the Palestinian authority.

The burning issue of the proliferating settlements on the occupied lands is not being seriously considered by the United States which means that the entire effort on the part of USA is patently partisan and merely aimed at upholding the stance of Israel.
It is foregone that the majority of the UN members would vote in favor of the

Palestinian request. As a result, it would be an utter failure of the US diplomacy, culminating into two negative consequences for the United States. There will be spurt in the anti-American sentiment among the Palestinians particularly and the Arabs generally.

That would be a stumbling block to the US efforts in befriending the Arab states that are in a state of turmoil and fighting against their bloody dynastic rulers for liberation and democracy. United States will lose much of its goodwill that it has so far generated by supporting the people’s uprising against their despotic potentates.

It would also embitter the climate of understanding and frustrate the kind of fragile truce that seems to be in place between the two belligerents. Thus the hard-line entities within the Palestinians, such as Hamas would gain more support and broader sympathy from the swaths of the Palestinians. Thus the situation would remain volatile and once again the skirmishes could start: Hamas sending missiles to Israel and receiving missiles in return.

Unless United States is in a confident position to assure the Palestinians that her new efforts aimed at finding a resolution to the lingering dispute between Israel and the Palestinians would be fruitful, the latter would not concede to America’s pleas for not making the request for recognition of statehood.

As the past is a witness, Israel reneges on her commitments each time, when a peace initiative resumes under aegis of the United Nations or United States and the solution is in sight. Thus the situation return back to square one and the stalemate continues.

Understandably, this time, the Palestinians would not be hoodwinked, pressurized or pursued to withdraw their request to be tabled before the United Nations. Even if it carries simple majority votes, they would still get the new coveted status and that would be a giant leap for them ever since their dispute with Israel arose.

Secondly, they would be able to pass on the message across the capitals that Israel and the United States were hand in glove and were even opposed to the minimum privilege for the Palestinians of getting symbolic recognition as a state.

It may not affect Israel, as she in the past, has been thwarting and sidetracking all peace overtures and the treaties including Oslo agreement, arrived at with PLO and of late with the Palestinian National Authority.

However, it would be a stupendous moral setback for the United States and may send wrong signals to the Arab capitals for being unfair to the Palestinians and heavily partisan in favor of Israel.

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