Palestinian Pressure at the UN


Pages: 1 2

The Palestinians’ campaign to get official United Nations approval of their bid for statehood status is proceeding on multiple fronts. Their application for full UN member state status, submitted with great fanfare to the Security Council on September 23rd, is making its way through the Security Council Committee on Admission of New Members, which consists of representatives appointed from each of the fifteen Security Council members. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are also pursuing membership in the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Palestinians’ UNESCO bid is on the faster track. It cleared a major hurdle by receiving the approval of forty out of the fifty-eight countries on UNESCO’s executive board to move forward with a vote by UNESCO’s entire 193 state membership later this month on whether to accept Palestinian membership in UNESCO. The United States, Germany, Romania and Latvia voted against. Fourteen members of the executive board, including Spain and France, abstained.

Elias Sanbar, Palestinian UNESCO observer representative applauded the executive committee’s decision:

“It’s the beginning of a new time. A time when Palestine, having had its name and its rights recognised and returned, will finally be able to exercise fully, responsibly, independently, freely and as a sovereign state, its activities in every field.”

The UNESCO executive committee decided to move ahead on a Palestinian UNESCO membership vote while the issue of full state membership in the entire United Nations organization was still before the United Nations Security Council. That should come as no surprise. The UNESCO executive committee is presently headed by Russia. While the United States and some other true functioning democracies are members of the executive committee, they are surrounded by the likes of Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

The Palestinians know they have friends at UNESCO.  Its executive board has been complicit in the Palestinians’ drive to deny international recognition of the Jewish peoples’ unique religious and historic connection to holy sites such as the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. With a stroke of the pen, UNESCO designated the Jewish holy site of Rachel’s Tomb as primarily a mosque. UNESCO also erased from the official record the remarks by Israeli representative Nimrod Barkan criticizing UNESCO’s decision. His remarks were deemed “too aggressive.” In the United Nations, telling the truth is considered too aggressive.

Allowing the Palestinian entity to become a full member of UNESCO would give them more standing to pressure the UN agency, which is supposedly devoted to culture, science and education, into erasing recognition of Jewish history and culture in extensive areas of the Holy Land. The Palestinians would do so by using UNESCO as their propaganda instrument to interfere with Israel’s legitimate archeological activities and to falsely re-brand Jewish historical sites as Muslim sites.

Thus, the moment that UNESCO votes the Palestinians into UNESCO, the United States must exit and take its 22 percent funding (about $87 million a year) of UNESCO’s total budget with it. As U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen put it, “the Palestinian leadership is shopping around the U.N. system for recognition. This attempt to rig the process needs to be stopped dead in its tracks. Our contributions are our strongest leverage at the U.N., and should be used to stand up for our interests and allies and stop this dangerous Palestinian scheme.”

However, UNESCO is a sideshow.  The Security Council is the center stage for the Palestinians’ campaign to become a full-fledged member state of the United Nations.

The Palestinians need nine members of the Security Council in favor of their application, with none of the five permanent veto holding members opposing it.  India, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, China and Lebanon are the Palestinians’ strongest supporters on the Security Council.

Bosnia, Nigeria and Gabon are non-committal so far. A claim by the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki that his delegation has secured eight votes in favor of their application has not been confirmed.

The Obama administration has promised to veto any Security Council resolution recommending UN membership for the Palestinians to the General Assembly. But it is trying to avoid having to exercise its veto power by locking down enough Council votes either against or abstaining on the Palestinian membership application to make the veto unnecessary. The U.S., along with its European allies, are also making a fresh attempt to revive direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. But that is a long shot, especially if the Palestinians think they can get what they want through the UN route.

The Palestinians’ application is presently being considered by the Security Council Committee on Admission of New Members, which met for the first time on October 7th to address a number of procedural issues. There is no formal deadline announced for the Committee to report back to the Security Council body.

The six Palestinian promoters on the Security Council are complaining that the European members, including Germany in particular, are deliberately trying to slow the committee review process down. They accuse the Europeans of raising unnecessary legalistic issues, according to sources cited by Inner City Press who are familiar with what went on during the committee’s secret deliberations. All that needs to be done, they argue, is to look at the short list of criteria for UN membership in Article 4.1 of the UN Charter, which the Palestinians claim they will comply with.

There is just one small problem, if the new membership criteria were taken seriously. The Palestinians do not come anywhere close to meeting them.

Article 4.1 states: “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”

Palestine first has to be deemed a state under the standards of international law. And it has to accept all the UN Charter obligations. One of those obligations is “to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” (Article 2.4)

Pages: 1 2

  • muchiboy

    The time has come for America,Israel and the world to $hit or get off the pot.The Palestinians are deserving of a recognized state with borders,identity,et al.

    I am glad that Sgt.Shalit is being freed from his imprisonment.It has been far too long.Israel and Israeli’s and the Diaspora generally are not innocent bi-standers in all of this,as their crimes against Humanity and the Palestinian people are reasons enough for his capture and detention,although in a very real sense his prolonged detention was inhumane.Again,welcome home,Sgt.You have a loving and thankful family and nation awaiting you.Shalom. muchiboy and Family

    • ziontruth

      The time has come for you Canadian busibody to mind your own business and stop preaching to Israeli Jews from the comfort of your armchair.

      "The Palestinians are deserving of a recognized state with borders,identity,et al."

      Nope. They need to become a nation first. The Arab settler-colonist land-thieves in Palestine are not a nation, nor could they become one even in a thousand years, given the fact the only unique characteristic they cultivate is their culture of suicide-murder.

      "I am glad that Sgt.Shalit is being freed from his imprisonment."

      So am I. For years, the Israeli government has held back from a fitting punitive action in Gaza to the Kassam rockets on the excuse that such an action would endanger Shalit. After he's freed, it is my fervent hope that Israel will react to Arab settler terrorism with all the mercy the Arab imperialists deserve—namely, none whatsoever.

      • muchiboy

        "Israel will react to Arab settler terrorism with all the mercy the Arab imperialists deserve—namely, none.."

        I fear that if Israel were permitted to do as she sees fit and followed her natural inclines (as shown by past acts) then the policy of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians begun in '47 and continued since would be completed.If the Arab world and their allies were unable to stop these crimes against Humanity and the Palestinian people hopefully America and the western liberal democracies would intervene on behalf of the Palestinians.I wouldn't hold my breath.muchiboy

    • stern

      Your second paragraph is perhaps the most condescending piece of garbage you have ever written. Jews, Israel and the Schalit family do not need your "good" wishes.

      • muchiboy

        Considering what I have written in past postings,stern,that is saying something,indeed.Still,while nobody needs my good wishes,there they are,for all to see,for what ever they are worth.And you speak for the Schalit family?
        A fault with this forum,and with many if not most posters and authors,is the lack of understanding and acknowledgement of the commonalities of humanity (including Jews and Arabs).It is as if your mentalities,sensibilities,moralities, world view and mindset has not evolved since the beginnings of the Diaspora.It is as though the Jewish nation/state has begun where it had left off,a few millennium ago.muchiboy

  • StephenD

    Why should Israel even care what the UN mandates? Obviously the so called "Palestinians" never gave any credence to UN Mandates. I would encourage Israel to not give in one inch. These people (and I use the term 'people' loosely) have no intention of going without the financial windfall they receive by maintaining the title of "Refugee." Once they are an independent state, they'll be expected to do for themselves. Of course, if their sole intent is to be a proxy in the annihilation of Israel and then revert to being incorporated by Jordan, well, it wouldn't really matter what the UN mandates now would it?

  • Kris

    There are numerous things wrong with this article, namely the blatant siding with the Israelis despite the fact that they are no more innocent than the Palestinians in this conflict. But I also must say that there is no "specific mention" of Israel as a Jewish state in the UN Resolution 181 so you might want to recheck your sources…

    • stern

      UN Resolution 181 Part 1, Section A, Subsection 3 reads:

      "Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in Parts II and III below."

      So while I could have told you without checking my sources that your first statement (about how both sides are equally guilty) was nonsense, I know now that your entire post is nonsense.

      What was that you said about checking your sources?

      • stern

        One more thing: I only pasted the first two mentions of a "Jewish state". The resolution repeats the phrase numerous times.

    • Ted

      Where did you do your studies on middle east history, The Yasser Arafat school for jihadists and revisionists?

    • Joseph Klein

      I think you should go back and read Resolution 181. There are several explicit references to the "Jewish State" in the resolution including an entire section labeled "THE JEWISH STATE" in Part II (B). http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm

      You are being sophomoric in saying that there is no specific mention of "Israel" as a "Jewish State" given that the name Israel didn't come until after independence. The point is that there were specific references to the creation of a Jewish State in the partition resolution, which Israel has represented for the last 63 years. I don't know whether you are simply misinformed or trying to deceive the readers. For now, I will give you the benefit of the doubt but your statement that the Israelis are "no more innocent that the Palestinians in this conflict" is laughable considering that the Palestinians could have also had their own state 63 years ago if they had agreed to the partition compromise that the Jewish State agreed to.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    Israel doesn’t submit to the UN. It’s rather silly of them to expect Palestine to submit to them. Even sillier, considering Israel is a rogue nation, conspiring with America to thwart Palestine’s bid for nationhood at all cost.

    • stern

      So there I was, spending time formulating a reasoned response to our old friend Flopside when I realized … he's just not worth it.

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        I know. You wanted to do that whole thing with “Palestine” in quotation marks and the “Israel offered to give back most of the West Bank” thing, but you knew I’d make fun of that.

    • ziontruth

      "…considering Israel is a rogue nation,…"

      A badge to be worn with pride, considering the U.N. is a den of vipers.

  • Ghostwriter

    I wish that you would stop your anti-semitic nonsense,Flipside. It's not only getting old,it already passed it's expiration date ages ago.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      You should stop associating this kind of garbage with the Jews. It gives them a bad reputation that they don’t deserve.

  • maturin20

    No President in the history of the office has felt "unconstrained by domestic pressures."

  • Ellman

    So, what are the borders of this 'member' state called 'Palestine' going to be? Obviously, the Palestinians will want to include the state of Israel within its borders. That's not likely to happen immediately, but 'statehood' will be the first step towards swallowing Israel like occupying the Rhineland was the first step of Hitler's march to war. Today, as was the case in the 1920's and 1930's, we have far more Neville Chamberlains than Winston Churchills. The UN is Chamberlain incarnate. History will repeat itself because people never learn from it. There's not enough money in studying history, especially when most people could care less about it.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      Hitler did you a favor. If not for him, you’d have to compare everybody to Satan, then on top of looking like just like Muslims, they’d sound just like Muslims too.