Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Israel, Obama, New York
Times Oppose UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood
By Stephen Lendman
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 9, 2011
New York Times Opposition to Palestinian Self-Determination
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 to
recognition. So does Obama, both Houses of Congress, and The New York
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.
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.
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.
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
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 UN
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
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
-- 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
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 them.
York Times Endorses Wrong Over Right
On August 7, its
editorial headlined, "Palestinians and the UN," saying:
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
Fact check: false as explained above.
United States will undoubtedly veto any resolution."
true, but doing so is illegal. The Times didn't explain.
Palestinians (will either) ask the General Assembly to recognize them as a
state or give them observer status as a state."
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."
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
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
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
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
-- 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 UN
-- 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
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
-- 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
-- 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 it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached
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