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News Should the US veto a UN resolution granting Palestine statehood?

  1. Sep 5, 2011 #1


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    Should the US veto a UN Security Council Resolution for the creation of a Palestinian State?

    M. Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), plans to petition the UN Security Council on September 20 for the recognition of Palestine as a full UN member state. The US has already said it would veto this effort.

    The PA has said it expects the US veto, and plans to then appeal to the full UN General Assembly for status of a “non-member” state, the same status as Kosovo, Taiwan, and Vatican City. If this bid is successful, it would transform the Israeli-Palestine conflict into a matter of one UN state violating the sovereign rights of another. The Palestinians could then access the UN’s human rights bodies, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court with any grievances. The PA has stated it would prefer direct negotiations with Israel, but not even a partial moratorium on settlement construction on Palestinian land could be arranged with Israel.

    Background info:




    If the US does veto the Palestine request it would seem to contradict what President Obama said this past May:

    “So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2011 #2


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    On what do you base this claim?
  4. Sep 6, 2011 #3


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    Oops! Made a “cut and paste” mistake when composing my post. The following would be true ONLY if Palestine was accepted in the UN as a member state:

    “If this bid is successful, it would transform the Israeli-Palestine conflict into a matter of one UN state violating the sovereign rights of another. The Palestinians could then access the UN’s human rights bodies, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court with any grievances.”

    And it would NOT apply if Palestine was a “non-member” state like Kosovo, Taiwan, and Vatican City.

    Thanks Russ, for your observation.
  5. Sep 6, 2011 #4


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    You still need to support the claim!
  6. Sep 6, 2011 #5
    Really, russ?

    If the USA rolled into Canada and started bulldozing houses, that'd be one UN state violating the sovereign rights of another. So when Israel rolls into Palestine and starts bulldozing houses, that'd also be one UN state violating the sovereign rights of another.

  7. Sep 6, 2011 #6
    I wonder what the reasons for the US are, or would be, to veto the claim?
  8. Sep 6, 2011 #7
    I do not see how such a veto would benefit the people of the United States in any way. Therefore, I would vote "No, we should not."
  9. Sep 6, 2011 #8


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    In your scenario, canada existed before the US "occupation".

    But that was, in any case, what I saw in the OP and in Abbas's statement: an attempt to legislate historical fact. Sorry, but just because something gets written down, that doesn't automatically make it fact - no matter who writes it.
  10. Sep 6, 2011 #9
    I have absolutely no idea what you mean in this post. Can you be a little more explicit in what you feel the historical facts are, and what you think they're attempting to be changed to? Please show your work.
  11. Sep 6, 2011 #10


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    from http://www.thejc.com/blogs/geoffrey-paul/from-oxford-ramallah"
    An unexpected spanner has been thrown into the intention of Ramallah to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN later this month. A leading Oxford academic and legal expert has warned that, by pushing ahead with their bid for recognition of a Palestinian state, the PLO leadership may well hazard any right of Palestinians to return to what is now Israel and disenfranchise every Palestinian living outside the area currently under the control of the Palestine Authority.​

    And http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/08/201183095140933572.html" [Broken] …
    The recent release of an authoritative legal opinion highlighting certain unexpected, unintended, and serious political and legal dangers in the September initiative, has created useful popular discussion and public debate. The opinion assesses the implications arising if the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) replaces itself by the State of Palestine as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people at the UN.

    The opinion was authored by Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, perhaps the world’s foremost authority on international refugee law, and commissioned by his colleague at Oxford University, Karma Nabulsi. It appears to have been discussed with the relevant political figures within the PLO leadership, and its constituent parties and movements. A few individuals, including PLO Executive Committee members, have responded to the issues raised in this expert legal opinion. However, the main questions have still not been addressed by the PLO, and it is important to raise them again for the sake of an honest public debate on a matter of such critical concern to all Palestinians.

    The main thrust of the Goodwin-Gill memorandum, that replacing the PLO at the UN with the state will undermine the political and legal position of the Palestinian people - especially the rights to return and to self-determination - remain unaddressed.​

    Professor Goodwin-Gill's opinion is available in full on the Jadaliyya website at"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  12. Sep 6, 2011 #11


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    To further support the claim in the OP, please see the following two articles:

    “A successful General Assembly vote for the Palestinians could increase boycott and sanctions pressure on Israel as well as international legal proceedings in forums like the International Criminal Court.”


    “Israel is lobbying against the Palestinian bid, which it sees as an effort to isolate and delegitimize it and extend the conflict into new arenas such as the International Criminal Court.”

  13. Sep 6, 2011 #12


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    To further support the claim in the OP, please see these excerpts from the LA Times dated 6 September 2011:

    "Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee, discussed with The Times what Palestinians are planning and why he thinks the U.N. bid, if unsuccessful, could spell the end of the Palestinian Authority.

    If the Obama administration vetoes the application in the Security Council as expected, Palestinian officials are likely to turn to the General Assembly to upgrade their status from non-member "entity" to non-member "state." Gaining de facto statehood recognition from the international body could allow Palestinians to join key U.N. institutions, such as the International Criminal Court."

    LAT: "Assuming there is a veto, what would you gain by upgrading your status in the General Assembly?"

    Erekat: "The advantage is that you can be a full member of UNESCO, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court, and you may be able to hold Israel accountable."

  14. Sep 7, 2011 #13
    I think the US should veto the UN. The only reason they're sticking their nose into it is because we (globally) are allowing them to.

    The problem involves too much land and not enough people. All the talk about whose land it was first is largely justification, but only slightly more couture than saying "It's mine. Get off." The matter put before the UN is only slightly more elevated than that.

    So what are we supposed to do? Reward whoever can express themselves with the most elegance? What does that have to do with forcing people to leave their homes?

    I say freeze the borders as they exist. If things become too crowded, forcing your neighboring country to give up land is a no-no. Instead, either tough it out or most.

    Middle Eastern refugees have been immigrating to foreign countries by the millions for decades. Any change in borders will only provide for a very short (few years) relief in population pressure while simultaneously ruffling tons of feathers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2011
  15. Sep 7, 2011 #14
    That's a hard question. A viable Palestinian state would likely be contrary to US interests. But a veto makes the US look bad.

    The US might not veto, and even publicly condemn Israeli intransigence, and then continue to surreptitiously support the status quo (increasing Israeli settlement of land mandated as Palestine, decreasing the possibility of a two-state solution).

    As with the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, this isn't a moral, or even a legal, consideration for the US government -- though it will try to make it appear as such.

    The idea, it seems, is to keep the Arab-Muslim Middle East as fragmented, chaotic, and 'nonviable' as possible -- as Western-secular principles and ideals steadily infiltrate the minds of Middle Eastern youth -- primarily to increase the possibilities wrt US control of the significant oil reserves there. And of course the cultural, 'way of life', conflict which has been going on for ~ 1.5 millennia probably has something to do with it as well.
  16. Sep 7, 2011 #15


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    how?? :rolleyes:

    the US wants a stable middle east, and a permanent two-state solution, with palestinian guarantees to stop attacking israel, would make that much easier :smile:

    (the veto would be because the US is aware that statehood without guarantees would lead to increased attacks on israeli civilians, resulting in regional war, which as a security council member it feels it has a duty to avoid)
    where are all these adjectives coming from? :rofl:

    the middle east is no more fragmented than africa or asia

    it's been chaotic for only a few weeks, and even that will settle down soon

    and how is the middle east non-viable? :biggrin:
    oooh, and a verb

    infiltrate! :tongue2:​
  17. Sep 7, 2011 #16
    I think the USA shouldn't veto the UNSC resolution. the Arab world is in a chaotic and unpredictable situation now and the outcome of the current uprisings, especially Egypt, is not so clear. if the USA vetoes the resolution that would harm the US popularity among the Arabs and that might strengthen the support for Islamic movements in Arabic countries to rise to power. if Arabic countries went to the dogs, not only that would threaten Israel's security more than now, but that would threaten the US interests in the region too.
  18. Sep 7, 2011 #17
    What the US wants is control of Middle Eastern oil, and a replacement of traditional Arab-Muslim values with Western-secular ones. The US doesn't want a stable Middle East dominated by Muslim values united against the West.

    I don't think the US government cares whether there's a two-state solution or not, as long as it can, to a large extent, control things. It would seem that a Palestinian state would make that more difficult than the current situation does. I think it's pretty clear that the Israeli government doesn't want a two-state solution. They're not going to get Palestinian guarantees, because they're not going to stop the settlements.

    There's not going to be any sort of regional war between Palestine and Israel, because there's not going to be a two-state resolution to the problem -- at least not in the foreseeable future, and not because of anything that the PA does in the UN, whether the US vetoes anything or not.

    I don't think the US government operates according to feelings of moral duty toward avoiding war. It seems to be mostly concerned with perpetuating a way of life, eliminating or minimizing threats to that way of life, and maximizing its control over certain resources. To the extent that regional war between Middle Eastern states would be seen as furthering those goals then the US would support it, and to the extent that it would be seen as detrimental to those goals then the US would oppose it. Do you think the US invaded and occupied Iraq out of some sense of moral duty?
  19. Sep 7, 2011 #18
    Why would a viable Palestinian state be contrary to US interests? It would certainly be contrary to Israeli interests, but that's their lookout not ours. What is good for Israel is not always good for the US, and vice-versa.

    Foreign Service officers like to refer to what they call Rules One and Two in international relations: Rule One - Nations do not have friends, they have allies. Rule Two - All alliances are temporary.
  20. Sep 7, 2011 #19


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    A viable Palestinian state which renounces violence and any territorial claim to Israel would be very much in Israel's interests, and Israel has been trying to achieve this ever since Oslo.
  21. Sep 7, 2011 #20
    Netanyahu bragged about undermining the talks at Oslo.
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