Palestinian showdown drama at UN

2011-09-20 19:00

New York - Frantic diplomatic efforts gathered pace on Tuesday as the Palestinians rode roughshod over Israeli and US opposition and pressed their bid to demand full UN membership for a Palestinian state.

Launching the opening gambit on Tuesday, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki called on the United States to drop its fierce opposition with the clock ticking to a showdown set for Friday.

"I hope that the United States will change its position and follow the majority of countries which want to support the Palestinian right to self-determination and an independent state," Maliki said after meeting his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

Frustrated by the stalemate in the Middle East peace process, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has vowed to submit a formal application to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday at about midday (16:00 GMT).

The Palestinians argue they should be given full UN membership as a Palestinian state - something opposed by Israel and the US as a bid to circumvent the dragging peace talks which ground to a halt a year ago.

Maliki reaffirmed the Palestinians will seek Security Council recognition of an independent Palestinian state, and said they believed they could win the necessary votes of nine of the council's 15 members.

But the United States, one of five permanent members of the council, has said it will veto any Palestinian bid, paving the way for a bitter confrontation at the world body.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted on Monday the United States was leading "extremely intensive" diplomatic efforts to resolve the standoff.

Two-state solution

"We continue to believe and are pressing the point that the only way to a two-state solution, which is what we support and want to see happen, is through negotiations," the chief US diplomat told reporters.

"No matter what does or doesn't happen this week, it will not produce the kind of result that everyone is hoping for," Clinton said.

Clinton met on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss a statement to be drafted by the Middle East Quartet aimed at finding a path back to the peace talks.

"They also talked about what some of the elements might look like in a statement that could provide a useful framework or context for negotiations between the two sides," a US official said, asking to remain anonymous.

But the Palestinians were on their own diplomatic drive to drum up support at the United Nations, buoyed by about 120 countries which have already bilaterally recognised a state of Palestine or backed such a position.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday sent a letter to UN chief Ban backing the Palestinians bid. "This represents an act of historic justice towards a people who carry with them, from time immemorial, all the pain and suffering of the world," he wrote.

And Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara also supported the Palestinians, adding: "I think it is now right time to start a new, fresh, but inclusive and result-oriented negotiation on Palestinian-Israeli issue."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrives here on Wednesday, has called for new direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

Win over nine states

If the Palestinians fail to win over nine of the 15 members of the Security Council, any resolution would fail, saving President Barack Obama from an embarrassing US veto, as he has repeatedly called for the existence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

"We are going to continue to work to find the nine votes," Maliki said. "If we aren't confident at the moment of getting the nine votes, we will have to make an additional effort to get them. I believe we will succeed."

Yet another option could be for the full UN General Assembly to grant the Palestinians status as an enhanced observer non-member state as enjoyed by the Vatican.

Obama, who has sought to relaunch the stymied peace talks, will meet with Netanyahu on Wednesday but has no plans yet to meet with Abbas.

The Palestinian leader was due, however, to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, as European Union foreign ministers also try to break the impasse.

The 27 EU nations were staying silent on how they would vote on Friday "in order to exert as much pressure on both sides to return to negotiations," Hague said in a statement.

  • Onnest - 2011-09-20 19:30

    Go Palestine...your will be a free people!

      Monacoroyals - 2011-09-20 22:34

      accept Israel - and Israel would accept you. Hamas's charter still calls for the killing of all Jews in the Middle East. The bid will be seen as an act of war, and the Pal can not afford a war. UN Bid might sound cool - but without a mutual agreements the only losers would be the pal people.

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 11:32

      Fragile: I know you'll be reading this at some time today since it's a topic that interests you. Just thought I'd tell you I left a response to your call out here: Thought you should read it. Apologies to the rest of you. My narcistic side couldn't help put a Huisgenoot reader like Fragile in his place.

  • promise-land - 2011-09-20 19:43

    For Serbia and Russia it's the province of Kosovo. For 80 UN member states it's the Republic of Kosova. This time it's the US threatening to use their veto power. When will the UN get over the second world war old boys club trying to run the world. It's not a matter of if you like or dislike the Palistinians. It about democracy. If the majority members of the UN say yes it is supposed to be yes but then again its all about money and power.

  • Romans8 - 2011-09-20 20:18

    Israel is a sovereign country and the Palestinians are illegal squatters who came into Israel, because at first they came in as migrant labour knowing which side their bread was buttered on. Now they have overstayed their welcome, so it's time to pack up and shift out back to the Arab lands from where you came.

      vis vang - 2011-09-20 21:21

      Maybe you are an illegal squatter, and have overstayed your welcome. Pack up and go live in israel.

      Benzo - 2011-09-20 21:25

      If my knowledge of contemporary history does not failed me, then Israel was established in around 1948, considerably later than the Palestinians were plowing the lands in this part of the world and in an unilateral attempt to pacify the jewish community which survived the Hitler onslaught. Since that date, the Israely state has done very little to make peace with their neigbours (who were chased from their land) and supported in that by the US trying to protect their oil interests in tat otherwise potentially hostile part of the world. The loss of Iran as a US-friendly nation added to the worries of the US.

      wdvilliers - 2011-09-21 05:37

      Benzo you are suffering from severe history lapse

  • Ali Akbar - 2011-09-20 20:25

    You can know for sure that if the Palestinians don't get it, they'll throw their toys out of the cot and suck on their pacifier's extra hard!

      negro.please - 2011-09-20 21:00

      You're trying out for the prize of 'dingle-berry of the month' again? You got my vote for sure.

  • negro.please - 2011-09-20 20:57

    The only reason I can see for this move to be vetoed, is that it will grant Palestine the authority to raise a legitimately recognised army and get better weapons, and then Israel can't use the 'look at the horrible terrorists attacking us' sympathy entitlement argument. This is a two state solution, which is what is wanted, so where is the problem? If I was asked to make a monthly contribution to this pot to buy them weapons, I will consider that money well spent and ask where I can sign up!

      Ali Akbar - 2011-09-20 21:57

      The problem is that you are the real dingle-berry, you troll!

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 00:18

      Sure thing my Muslim brother. Or are you really the troll for being a non-muslim with a Muslim nick to sound like you're a Muslim for Israel? A few of the posters on here would love to use you in their propaganda videos giving a thumbs up for Israel. Mazeltoff on your upgrade to dingle-berry of the YEAR award now.

      King Solomon - 2011-09-21 11:41

      If Palestine gets statehood and they fire rockets into Israel, it will be an act of war and Israel will have every right to defend herself against another sovereign country and that will be the end of Palestine.

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 11:57

      King Solomon: True, true, but it would also give them the right to self determination and anybody that wanted to come back to their homeland of Palestine from the rest of the world could. The country would grow economically, not needing to have their citizens have to pass through security checkpoints, have bulldozers and Apache helicopters destroy their homes, etc. They'd be free to buy nuclear arms from Iran to defend themselves if they wanted to. All in all, everybody would have what they want and there'd be no reason to fight. Is that not what Israel and the US want?

      Ali Akbar - 2011-09-21 13:41

      @negro.please - Thanks for the award, but it doesn't equate to the one I've given you. The MAMMOTH DORK of the year!

      Ali Akbar - 2011-09-21 18:42

      @negro.please - Jesus loves you this I know. You're forgiven!

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 19:46

      Ali Akbar: So says every fundamentalist evangelist that leaves my house frothing at the mouth because he couldn't convert me. I will decide if Jesus loves me after I finish reading the Bible that I am reading right now. I've been reading your other posts and I must say you've taken a different approach from the others though, starting off by saying God hates my Palestinian brothers and eventually ending up loving me. Using deception in the form of your inaccurate name is also a new strategy I have seen. It's not going to give you much success my brother. Oh, and you are not beyond the mercy of Allah's forgiveness. But don't take my word for it. Get yourself a Quran and sit and read it and decide for yourself. Go in peace and consider this skirmish dead and buried.

      Ali Akbar - 2011-09-21 20:14

      I hope Jesus comes to you in your night visions and knocks on the door of your heart. Best place to start is the book of John in the New Testament.

  • kubs - 2011-09-21 08:06

    "buoyed by about 120 countries which have already bilaterally recognised a state of Palestine"...nuff said..Viva Palestine!

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 09:28

      Yes kubs, and to think one country can unilaterally tell the rest: "Your opinion does not matter", is absurd, undemocratic if you will. If I'm not mistaken, the security council are the ones that represent Earth at the United Planets Organisation.

  • negro.please - 2011-09-21 11:21

    Fragile: I know you'll be reading this at some time today since it's a topic that interests you. Just thought I'd tell you I left a response to your call out here: Thought you should read it. Apologies to the rest of you. My narcistic side couldn't help put a Huisgenoot reader like Fragile in his place.

      Ali Akbar - 2011-09-21 19:35

      By the way negro.please correct spelling is: narcissistic.

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 19:52

      Ali Akbar: We all make mistakes, and even though, Jesus still loves us! I blame it on copy and paste :)

  • pages:
  • 1