PA Sticks with UN Plan

The  PLO Executive Committee supported seeking statehood recognition at the UN in September. President Abbas is not backing away from the idea (so far, anyway).

The US is likely to veto any resolution at the UN Security Council. At best, the PA may hope for a supportive resolution in the UN General Assembly. If so, I hope the resolution writers listen to this op-ed, as I noted the other day.

But assuming the resolution is the current PA line, I have a hard time seeing that the passage of a UN resolution would bring the PA closer to Palestinian statehood. It would not change the occupation on the ground. If it increased international pressure on Israel (which it very well might not), many members of the current Israeli government and Israeli public would simply see that as further proof of irrational, international hatred for Israel. Thus, it would serve as further evidence that Israel needs to protect itself without reliance on others (except, for some, the US), without risky treaties with Palestinians or other Arabs, and without major territorial withdrawals.

I certainly am open to hearing about scenarios where UN action does somehow change the status quo.

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4 Comments to “PA Sticks with UN Plan”

  1. May I remind you that PA is not “seeking statehood recognition”? It is attempting to attain membership in UN while not being a state. When PA politicians claim that they are seeking statehood, they either have no understanding of the legality of the matter, or are plainly lying for political points in order to manipulate the ignorant public into believing that they have a state whereas they do not, in fact, have one.

    Statehood is an objective condition that can not be ‘sought’ and recognition of it does not matter. Much akin to pregnancy, you are either a state or not. If you are not a state, then you can not apply to UN and become its member. In the event that UNSC endorses and UNGA approves the application, this would be a serious breach of UN regulations, as only states may apply for membership. International community can not create states, and one would not be created by the virtue of acceptance into UN – to the contrary, it would fundamentally undermine the purpose and nature of international law.

  2. Interesting points, Mike. How would you view the UN support for the 1947 partition plan? That was not creating states? Why has Israel put so much effort into Arab recognition of Israel as a state? (I am asking these as actual, not rhetorical, questions. I am curious how they fit into your view.)

    We disagree about the PA and about the deeper principle. The PA has parts of state. Some states – often called failed states – only have parts of a state. In my view, the legal aspect is one aspect, but it is not the only one (and may not end up being the decisive one).

  3. The UN support for the partition plan is just that – support for a plan. What would have created states is the consent of the Jews and the Arabs – who would have then proceeded to declare independence and negotiate borders. This never happened. Arabs flat out rejected the 181 and launched a war of aggression (which they called a ‘humanitarian intervention’, an exception to prohibition of unsanctioned war). Jews did declare independence, and *that* – not the plan itself – has created the State of Israel. Essentially, Jews had the right and the opportunity to do so without the Resolution 181.

    That the Palestinians have a right to self-determination is a non-disputable fact. The dispute is about two entirely different points: borders of this state and cessation of hostilities. The former can be settled affirmatively only through negotiation with Israel, and there is nothing at all the international community can do to force through a solution, nevermind that such an attempt would contravene the most basic general principle of modern international law – non-intervention in sovereign affairs. Such negotiation can not proceed until Israel is certain that there is a genuine good faith intention – not just a perceived effort – to quell terrorism, racist propaganda in Palestinian and Arab society, and subsequently a reliably permanent end to attempts to push the “zionist entity” down into the sea.

    The effort Israel invests (read: demands) into Arab recognition of Israel as a [Jewish] state is necessary because such recognition, upon pronouncement by the Arab world, means waiver of further attempts to uproot Israel in *any* borders. It means that whatever perceived legitimacy the criminal organizations that market themselves as liberation movements such as PLO/Fateh/PFLP/Hamas/Hezbollah have will be immediately and permanently invalidated. We want a rock solid guarantee that the war against Israel – military, political, legal and informational – is over.

    Such recognition would also mean that Israeli right wing will gradually become checked by the leftwing Israeli camp which is now severely weakened because of its persistent failure to exhibit necessary determination and brutality to guarantee security for Israeli citizens. Israel being the welfare state with significant gaps between classes (I am sure you’ve heard of the undergoing “cottage revolution” which is basically a rapidly spreading consumer boycott), a boiling conflict between the secular and the religious the latter attempting to impose religious order of life on the former, and a fierce concentration of most capital in the hands of very few privileged ones (they say that all the money in Israel belongs to a hundred well known families), and with a strong tradition of liberalism, regulation and democracy, the new left stands a good chance in the long term, thus producing a balanced, centrist society.

    As of our disagreement, for the purposes of acceptance to UN, only the legal definition matters. The Montevideo test for statehood must be passed by any entity that wishes to accede to UN. That anybody at UN is seriously considering allowing the Palestinian application is not an acknowledgment of Palestinian statehood, it is a sign of ignorance and corruption. The very reason that Palestinian politicians always express their desire for “recognition of statehood *in 1967 borders*” is because they do not wish to negotiate with Israel, having a vastly inferior hand at negotiation, and instead want to cheat their way out of it by securing popular opinion in their favour. Popular opinion does not matter in the affairs of nations. There are laws and customs that are not subject to popular opinion, and it is unacceptable that Israel be exempt from them.

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