With the Palestinians aiming for some form of United Nations statehood recognition in September, they have set their sights on a key diplomatic target: the United States. The US is one of five nations with a veto in the powerful UN Security Council, and the American government has repeatedly expressed its opposition to Palestinian unilateralism at the UN as unhelpful and a complication for the Mideast peace process—implying an expected veto. Israel has said that UN action could solidify tougher Palestinian positions, making necessary compromise even less likely.
The Security Council, unlike the UN General Assembly where there is no veto, has the ability to make legally-binding decisions on recognizing full-fledged Palestinian statehood. In light of that, the Palestinians recently held a meeting to highlight their US diplomatic offensive.
According to the WAFA Palestinian news agency, Ma’an Erekat, the head of the Palestinian General Delegation in Washington, met with Palestinian community members in the US on Tuesday. He noted the importance of applying political pressure on the US government to support the Palestinians at the UN.
Erekat said that there was agreement to form a coordinating committee for the Palestinian community to support the Palestinian leadership approach. He said the delegation also had prepared information booklets on the UN matter.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Barack Obama administration had not changed their mind on the Palestinian UN bid. In comments to reporters that were posted on the US State viagra online next day delivery uk Department website, US spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the US thinks a September Palestinian UN bid “is a bad idea, which is going to make the kind of negotiation that we want to see for a lasting long-term peace more difficult… I think we’ve encouraged from the beginning that the Palestinians reconsider this ill-advised course that they have been on.”
Though other nations besides the US have also expressed their opposition to the UN bid, Israel still has diplomatic work to do. To that end, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with 20 US-based ambassadors from around the world and sought their support in resisting Palestinian unilateralism.
In a brief recap of the meeting posted on the Prime Minister’s Office Web site, Netanyahu told the ambassadors, “Support for this [Palestinian UN] draft decision is liable to severely harm the possibility of resuming the direct negotiations and advancing the peace process. A unilateral UN decision would prevent their leadership from making the concessions in the future that are necessary for peace.”
The ambassadors represented delegations to the US from nations in Europe, Africa, Latin America and more, and were on a visit sponsored by The Israel Project. A number of the nations do not have permanent representatives in Israel, making it a unique opportunity for the Israelis to publish their concerns about the UN matter.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 10, 2011)