ISSN 2330-717X

The Fork Ahead Of The Palestine Issue – OpEd


By Mohyeddin Sajedi

With September edging closer and the time approaching for raising the official bid for the formation of an independent Palestinian state in the United Nations and its full membership in the organization, this proposal can only go one of two ways.

Some time ago, the flags of more than 120 countries which have recognized Palestine were installed around the Palestinian site in Ramallah, West Bank. Other governments have also pledged their positive vote to the recognition of Palestine with the 1967 borders so that international status may be conferred upon this country with the majority of votes in the General Assembly.

Recognition in the UN and securing its membership are two different issues. The membership card of this global club must be issued by the United Nations Security Council; a very unlikely measure, given the likelihood of the US exercising its right of “veto.” Palestine will probably turn into a Kosovo-like state, which has yet to become a member of the UN on account of Russian opposition.

UN General Assembly hall
UN General Assembly hall

A Palestinian state with the 1967 borders is not what the Palestinians are looking for. These borders engulf merely 20% of the ancient Palestinian state. Displaced Palestinians, which constitute the largest displaced community in the world, still yean for a return to their homes in that 80% strip of land which is now called “Israel.” Prominent movements such as Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad oppose the 1967 borders and contend that the recognition of the Palestinian state within these borders denotes the permanent recognition of Israel.

Even a lot of those who insist on the 1967 borders see it as a step-by-step solution. Future might hold better options for more demands.

Israel says it will only come to terms with a Palestinian state if they accept Israel as an “absolute Jewish land.” This title poses the risk of the expulsion of 20% of the Arab settlers in Israel who will never be absolute Jews and are also reluctant, unlike their forefathers in 1948, to be displaced from their lands in the hope of a support of the regional powers for a return one day.

Israel carries on with its settlement plans in the West Bank under this pretext. The US and the European Union exhibit no initiatives in restraining Israel. George Mitchell, the last US envoy, opted to resign and preferred resignation to futile trips back and forth al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Ramallah.

The US has three options for countering the recognition of the Palestinian state in the General Assembly. First, is the deferral of the negotiations over the Palestinian sovereignty bid to next year (2012); second, is deploying its veto prerogative, which is effective only in the Security Council and is no obstacle to raising the issue of the recognition of the Palestinian state in the General Assembly of the United Nations; and third, is pressurizing its European, African and Asian allies to vote against the Palestinian bid.

The US exercise of its veto power will place Washington head to head with the Islamic and Arabic countries. Thus far, the US has vetoed plenty of resolutions on the Palestinian crisis. Today, however, the situation is very different; the public uprisings in the Islamic-Arabic countries do not make things easy for the US, especially that many turn a suspicious and conspiratorial eye on all the US moves. The latest case in point is the heating up of the discussions over Washington’s monetary aid to some Egyptian groups and parties after this country’s revolution, which has met with the protests of the Egyptian intellectuals and the US representative perforce leaving Cairo.

Thus, the government of President Obama, to avoid using its veto power, is looking for bureaucratic ways to kill the time and delay the recognition talks in the UN for now. It goes without saying that this temporary measure more than any other proves that the US is in want of a specific strategy regarding the recognition if the Palestinian state.

Should it face the US veto and not become a member of the UN, the Palestinian sovereignty will take its second request of the promotion of Palestine from a monitoring organization to a monitoring country to the General Assembly and find a Vatican-like state. The positive vote of half of the General Assembly members secures the obtainment of such a state.

Israel too has taken up international efforts to convince some governments to vote against the Palestinian statehood recognition bid. Jewish pressure groups are also helping Israel out. Israel has threatened all those countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean to which it provides agricultural and armaments aids that it would cut off such assistance in the case that they vote in favor of the Palestinians in the General Assembly of the UN.

A Palestinian diplomat says that Israel is benefitting from the Jewish lobby in the US for influencing destitute states that receive US aid. He adds that the Arab states can deploy the parlance of international relations interest to persuade world states to vote for the recognition, but no serious effort has been witnessed on that front so far.

One of the problems facing the Palestinian sovereignty is assuring the Palestinian masses of the advantageous measure of the referral to the UN. The Palestinian leadership has organized some plans for a million man Palestinian march concurrent with the submission of the recognition proposal on September 21 to impact the global public opinion; especially that the demonstrations in the Arab Spring enjoys international approval. The slogan “Palestine 1948” is due to resound in this demonstration. The UN currently holds 193 members and Palestine will be the 194th.

Notwithstanding; the polls reveal that the Palestinian nation hasn’t placed much hope in the UN. The General Assembly has so far ratified tens of resolutions in support of the Palestinian nation; none of which have been binding and have been no practical obstacle to Israel’s plans to expand settlement in the Western Bank or the continual captivity of the approximately 10 thousand Palestinians in its prisons.

The second solution for the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state is its self-dissolution and a return to the stage prior to the Oslo Accords and confronting the world with the Israeli occupation.

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Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

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