month, New York will witness the first comprehensive international
gathering since the astounding Arab Awakening in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria,
which started earlier this year and which has unsettled and embarrassed many a major power.
At the forefront of such powers, are none other than Russia and China, given their stances
resisting regime change in Libya and Syria. Then there is the United States, now tainted by
embarrassment from the standpoint of the Palestinian-Israeli question, because of its resistance
to the accession of the state of Palestine to the United Nations; and after having failed to
persuade Israel to stop illegal settlement activity. For no matter what the Palestinian strategy
shall bring about, whether in terms of full accession to the UN or the recognition of
Palestinian statehood, the vast majority of countries are fully aware that the U.S. administration
dares not implement the pledges and promises it has made, exactly because of the Israel lobby’s huge
influence in U.S. elections. Consider the case of South Sudan, which became the 193 member of the United
Nations in an incredibly swift manner, following a political decision that the Obama administration
helped impose as a fait accompli. By contrast, Palestine shall not be the 194th member of the
international organization, also because of an American political decision coupled with threats,
and warnings along the lines of suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority. These double standards
cause embarrassment within the U.S. administration itself, due to the impunity continually
afforded to the government of Israel, while granting the latter whatever it may ask. This is
true even when Israel challenges U.S. national interests with its intransigence and resistance
to the two-state solution, over which there is consensus in the international community today.
Here, the weakest link are the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, and also the Palestinian
Authority. For this reason, it may be in line with Palestinian interests not to go too far in
embarrassing the Obama administration and losing its good faith as a result, something that
would translate into a gift directly given to the Israeli government. It may thus be best for the
Palestinians to help maintain the unified European position over their cause, and invest in the U.S.
administration by means of a cumulative strategy that would ultimately lead to the admission of the
Palestinian state to the United Nations.
a strategy, if coupled with an awareness campaign and a peaceful effort to lobby international public opinion
– including the Israeli public opinion-, could lead to isolating the Israeli government and robbing it of its
dream of a U.S.-Palestinian estrangement, and the fragmentation of pertinent European stances, which have
so far been coherent with regard to the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people. In such a
manner, the Palestinian Authority would also be acting with a sense of collective responsibility towards the
Arab developments as they are being raised on the international scene.
If the Palestinian strategy opts to go to the Security Council, the procedures in force require the Palestinians to make a formal request to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to make a recommendation to the Security Council to favorably consider the admission of Palestine as a member to the UN. The Security Council would subsequently have to issue a resolution recommending, in turn, the General Assembly to approve the request. But since the United States has made it unequivocally clear that it would prevent the Security Council from issuing such a resolution, Lebanon’s presidency is meaningless here save for the fact that it would be presiding over a session of failure, of political confrontation with the United States, and of losing European unity over solidarity with the Palestinian cause. This is hardly an achievement. But perhaps Damascus and Tehran would find that to be indeed an achievement, as it would expose American duplicity. However, this would not help the Palestinians under occupation in any way, nor would it help them regain their occupied territories. Incidentally, Lebanon, in turn, is in the sphere of embarrassment, with the policy of evasiveness that it adopts with regard to the Syrian issue at the Security Council. For instance, Lebanon has dissociated itself from the presidential statement endorsed unanimously by the remainder of the Security Council members. Lebanon is thus escaping forward with regard to the draft resolution being currently discussed among the members of the Security Council (This is while noting that Russia wants such a statement to merely be a call for engaging in a political process, while holding the opposition and the authorities jointly responsible for violence in Syria). By contrast, the Western nations are seeking a resolution that truly puts pressure on Damascus, with sanctions and condemnation, while refusing to hold civilians responsible for the crackdown and killing as carried out by the Syrian authorities. Lebanon then, has not been spared the pain of embarrassment, nor does it hold the fate of Palestine’s bid for UN membership except in a mere procedural and rather negative manner, if the Palestinian Authority indeed chooses to go to the Security Council. In fact, there are Arab states in the follow-up committee headed by Qatar, which are pushing the Palestinian Authority towards confrontation ...
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