Monday, November 14, 2011

Failed bid

The Palestinian bid to be recognized as a State by the UN Security Council has failed! After due consideration, the Committee of all members set up to consider the application voted on 11/11/11 by a majority that the bid had not been sufficiently justified. They stated that the application had not established that "Palestine" had the necessary prerequisites of a State, namely the ability to defend its territory, the organizational infrastructure to function as a State and the necessary economic basis. Some members voted for the bid for political reasons despite these shortcomings, but the Palestinians could not muster a sufficient majority. Some of those members who abstained said they would in principle like to see a Palestinian State, but could not support this bid, particularly since it meant that the Palestinains could avoid negotiating with Israel. One positive feature of this failed bid is that it did not require the US to exercise its veto in the Security Council.

Although the UNESCO arm of the UN did recognize Palestine, this is a pyrrhic victory, since it does not give the Palestinians the political legitimacy they crave, and has put UNESCO itself into severe financial straits since the US, Canada and Israel cancelled their payments to the organization. Unfortunately, now the PA can bring cases before UNESCO to attempt to delegitimize Israel, such as claiming that the rebuilding of the collapsing ramp to the Temple Mount is intended to harm the Haram al-Sharif Mosque, which is physically impossible.

This failure to be recognized at the UN is seen as a failure for Pres. Abbas of the PA and for the Fatah organization that he heads. As such, Hamas, which opposed this application, will consider this their victory and will be strengthened. Now the Palestinians have to decide what is their next step at the UN. They could apply to the General Assembly to improve their status to member observer status, which is likely to succeed, although it will fall short of their political aims. Pres. Abbas of the PA in his first interview to an Israeli journalist recently made some extraorinary admissions, most notably that it was probably a mistake for the Arabs to have rejected the UN Partition Plan of 1948 - only 63 years too late! Now he is finding that you can't simply reverse history, the Partition that was proposed then has long gone. Now Israel exists as a thriving, powerful State and must be reckoned with. Israel should make no more concessions to the Palestinians. When they have decided that they want to live in peace with Israel they will then agree to negotiations. Until then they must deal with their internal dissension, their inability to organize a State and their continuing use of violence to achieve their aims.


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