Conflict & Justice

Palestinians consider dropping statehood bid


Palestinian children wave their national flag.


Musa Al Shafer

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli and international media outlets are reporting that the Palestinian government is resigned to losing a United Nations Security Council vote tomorrow on its bid to be recognized as a full member state of the international organization.

Two Israeli newspapers, Ha’aretz and Yedioth Acharonoth reported that the Palestinian government has conceded the bid.

The AP and Al-Arabiya News similarly reported the defeat of the UN gambit.

Ha’aretz said the Palestinian delegation plans to absent itself from tomorrow’s discussion. A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority refused to deny the claim.

Members of the United Nations Admissions Committee, who will present their report tomorrow, were unable to agree on the question of Palestine’s compliance with UN requirements, including the requisite that member nations have defined borders and be “peace-loving.”

The Admissions Committee report is expected to recommend the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The United States argued that Hamas, a terrorist organization, which rules the Gaza strip, where 40 percent of the Palestinian people live, and continues to countenance missile strikes against Israel while sitting as part of a governing coalition, cannot not be considered “peace-loving.”

The Palestinians would have needed nine votes from the 15-member Security Council to achieve recognition.

With the announcement that Bosnia, a new temporary member of the Security Council, will abstain, the United States seems to have achieved its goal of avoiding having to veto a resolution accepting Palestine into the UN fold.

Eight countries have said they would support the Palestinian bid: Russia, India, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Lebanon, and Gabon. The United States, Germany and Colombia are expected to oppose the bid. The United Kingdom, France, Portugal have said they will abstain.

Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, said the report is “merely about compliance with requirements and does not reflect political reality.”

“We say that we comply. We are recognized by 130 countries. Our acceptance at UNESCO reflects what the international community feels,” he said.