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The (unplanned) victory of the UN statehood bid

P F Tinmore

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Dec 6, 2009
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Amid the enthusiastic applause in New York City and the celebrations in Ramallah, it was easy to believe — if only a for minute — that, after decades of obstruction by Israel and the United States, a Palestinian state might finally be pulled out of the United Nations’ hat. Will the world’s conscience be midwife to a new era ending Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians?

It seems not.

The Palestinian application, handed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week, has now disappeared from view — for weeks, it seems — while the United States and Israel devise a face-saving formula to kill it in the Security Council. Behind the scenes, the pair are strong-arming the council’s members to block Palestinian statehood without the need for the US to cast its threatened veto.

Whether or not President Barack Obama wields the knife with his own hand, no one is under any illusion that Washington and Israel are responsible for the formal demise of the peace process. In revealing to the world its hypocrisy on the Middle East, the US has ensured both that the Arab public is infuriated and that the Palestinians will jump ship on the two-state solution.

But there was one significant victory at the UN for Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, even if it was not the one he sought. He will not achieve statehood for his people at the world body, but he has fatally discredited the US as the arbiter of a Middle East peace.

The (unplanned) victory of the UN statehood bid | The Electronic Intifada


Jun 29, 2011
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