The United States has made clear it will oppose a possible Palestinian bid for state recognition at the United Nations this September. The Palestinians might seek such recognition because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in direct peace negotiations with Israel.
During the final public discussion in the U.N. Security Council about the Israeli-Palestinian situation before the U.N. General Assembly meets in September, U.S. Deputy U.N. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo emphatically stated that Washington will not support any bid by the Palestinians for recognition.
“Let there be no doubt: symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September will not create an independent Palestinian state. The United States will not support unilateral campaigns at the United Nations in September or any other time," she said.
The United States is one of five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, and it is the 15-member council that recommends states for U.N. admission to the General Assembly for approval. Without that recommendation, a state cannot be admitted to the United Nations.
The Palestinians are considering going to the General Assembly first to try to achieve a two-thirds majority or more from the 193 nations, hoping to pressure the United States not to veto their request if they can muster broad international support.
Ambassador DiCarlo said there are no “short-cuts” to a two-state solution. She said a viable and sustainable peace can only be achieved through mutual agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis on outstanding issues.
But efforts to restart talks between the two parties have been stalled since late September following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour seized on the settlement issue, saying that is the “biggest unilateral illegal action” and that the Palestinian bid for recognition is a very multi-lateral action.
“We thus continue to appeal for recognition of the State of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders," he said. "We are convinced that the more than 120 bilateral recognitions of Palestine to date are each a reaffirmation of our inalienable right to self-determination and our natural and legal right to statehood and to be a part of the international community.”
But Israel’s U.N. envoy, Ron Prosor, said the split within the Palestinian leadership means even the most basic condition for statehood does not exist.
“The Palestinian Authority does not maintain effective control over all its territory, nor does it hold a monopoly on the use of force. The Hamas terrorist organization still maintains de facto control in Gaza,” said Prosor.
Later, the Palestinian envoy told reporters that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians inspired by the Arab Spring sweeping the region could take to the streets to peacefully demand their right to self-determination, a voice he did not think the international community could ignore.