News / Middle East

Palestinians Won't Stop Statehood Drive

A Palestinian school girl, left, hands a letter, addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to UN officer Pascale Soto, right, during a rally to support the Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Rama
A Palestinian school girl, left, hands a letter, addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to UN officer Pascale Soto, right, during a rally to support the Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Rama

The Palestinians are taking their statehood bid to the United Nations this week.  Palestinian leaders plan to ask the world body for full status as a state, though that has already been assured a block by the United States. Still, Palestinian leaders say, they are undeterred.

After years of holding talks with Israel in a bid to gain statehood, the Palestinians have decided on a different strategy. They say they are going to the United Nations to seek status as a full member state.  That plan has drawn sharp criticism from Israel, and from the United States, which insist that statehood can only be achieved through bilateral negotiations.

Longtime Palestinian legislator and official Hanan Ashrawi asserts  the Palestinians are entitled to act on their own.

"We don't need permission from Israel," he said. "The right to self determination, and statehood, and sovereignty is enshrined in the U.N. resolutions, and in the U.N. Charter, and in international law. We have fulfilled all of the requirements of statehood according to the Montevideo Convention and the U.N. Charter."

The mechanism for recognizing statehood at the United Nations is specific.  A resolution is introduced. The resolution is sent to the Security Council, which then studies it and then takes a vote on sending the measure to the full General Assembly.  It then takes two thirds of the U.N.'s membership to approve voting-state status.

But the United States has announced it will use its Security Council veto privilege to stop the Palestinian resolution.  If that indeed takes place, the Palestinians are left with seeking "observer state" status that falls short of full membership.  

Non-voting U.N. membership not only provides a status upgrade, but it also affords access to U.N. committees and entities.  

According to Graeme Bannerman at the Middle East Institute, it could provide more Palestinian leverage at the bargaining table with the Israelis.

"Nobody believes that there is going to be a Palestinian state, fully recognized in the international community, without negotiations with the Israelis. That's going to happen," said Bannerman. "The issue is 'Will they be better able to negotiate with more of a 'state' recognition than being this weak entity [the Palestinians' current status] versus the stronger State of Israel?'"

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, continues to say that peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations.  And he says Israel will still be ready to talk even after the Palestinians seek statehood from the U.N..

"After the smoke clears, after all that is happening at the U.N., at the end, the Palestinians will come to their senses - this is what I hope - and will abandon these moves that bypass negotiations," said Netanyahu.

The PLO's Representative to the United States, Maen Areikat, says he and other Palestinian leaders are undeterred by this and any other pressures.

"This is an issue of national pride to us. Our freedom and independence are not on the table for bargaining. We will not bargain on our freedom and independence. No matter what the repercussions and the consequences are going to be," he said.

In Washington - which provided the Palestinians with nearly $500 million in 2010 - consequences have been threatened as well.  Nevertheless, Abbas says the statehood drive will not be stopped.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs