Palestinian Recognition at the U.N.
By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
Washington–Your reporter has devoted much time to the (progressive) Israeli position on any possible peace discussion with the rightful Arab claimants to the Holy Land. The Palestine Center, housed in the American capital city, has given your narrator the opportunity to voice the opposing Palestinian position on their march to recognition towards their legitimate status at next monthâ€™s meeting at the United Nations.
â€œAmbassadorâ€ Maen Areikat gave a formal speech on his â€œcountryâ€™sâ€ formal position on a potential declaration next month of his countryâ€™s independence in New York City a month ago here in the District of Columbia with the most knowledgeable legal expert on Ramallahâ€™s right for national agency, Professor John Quigley.
This, presented in July, was part of the Palestine Centerâ€™s public examination of what they termed â€œThe Arab Spring becomes the Palestinian Autumnâ€ — something your scribe does not as yet subscribe.
â€œAmbassadorâ€ (your raconteur only puts parenthesis around his title because Areikat represents a stateless State, and his credentials may not be officially recognized here in D.C.) Mean Areikat is the main PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) representative in the U.S. officially commissioned with the rank of Ambassador by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority (PA).
He has held high positions in negotiating teams and delegations with the Israeli occupiers. Maen, also, served as Desk Officer over English-speaking powers within the PAâ€™s Orient Houseâ€™s International Relations Department.
From your authorâ€™s recent research on Israel, the attitude of the Palestinians going directly to the U.N. on Manhattanâ€™s River for an official acknowledgment of their natural entitlement is anathema to Tel Aviv. As John Quigley pointed out, the Israeli parliament (or Knesset) recognized the PLO as representing a State by recognizing the legitimacy of the Oslo Accords or the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arraignments or more succinctly the Declaration of Principles (DOP) of September 13th 1993. Further, under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, the Turks under their then Ottoman Empire ceded their former territories (including Palestine) as States to the (former) League of Nations who gave them in trust to the victorious (post-)World War I European Empires as temporary Mandates.
Erekat noted, whatever, the Security-Council does not have the right to recognize or deny nationhood, but it must be passed by two-thirds of its members to be sent on to the General Assembly (GA) , but, if it does pass the initial hurdle, it will most likely be bureaucratically shunted into a Committee. Here, this Committee can be slowed down in referring it to the General-Assembly.
The leading legal expert on this process this process is Professor John Quigley of Ohio State University in Columbus. Besides the law, Quigleyâ€™s interests includes human rights; and, thus, Palestine.
Professor Quigley simply states that, after the matter has been referred to the General-Assembly without obfuscations, the Security-Council has to defend their position on whether to grant Statehood or not to the G.-A. This can actually go back and forth between the two bodies for some time.
The Ambassador showed that it is only the G.-A. that can bestow the legal status of Statehood, and that standing can have several different levels. Under the U.N. Charter the U.S. canâ€™t say â€œWe donâ€™t like it [our bid], or give Israel more time to make peace.â€ Both of these are invalid under the United Nationsâ€™ Charter.
There is a question of what exactly is legally binding because the Charter is ambiguous here: It is not clear whether the General Assembly has the authority to admit a country into the U.N. without the Councilâ€™s approval to do so, and there has been no precedent to establish it one way or the other. To continue the pun we are proceeding on uncharted ice.
Only Israel is claiming that this move is unilateral. It is not so, as the Ambassador declares, â€œ We are going for full admission into the United Nations to be acknowledged as a sovereign entity!â€ In the General Assembly the Palestinians only require a plurality of fifty (percent) plus one. Debate is proceeding back home in Ramallah on which course to proceed. According to the District of Columbia, the U.S. insists that Palestinian Stateâ€™s status should only come through negotiation, but negotiations for Tel Aviv denotes the avoidance of the two-country agreement whereas Palestine advocates a dual realm resolution by fighting against the unjust Settlements. The real cost of the Occupation is borne by the international commune. This is â€œNot an effort to isolate Israel,â€ for â€œWe are committed to non-violent peaceful resistance, but we shall not tolerate the Occupation!â€
The Right Honorable Maen Areikat continued, â€œThe only way we shall reconsider [this bid for recognition] is if the community of nations can guarantee our security; then, discussions can go on in good faith.â€
Quigley, further, adds that, if Palestine achieves its place amongst the family of sovereign states, the War Crimes committed against the Canaanites can be brought before the International Court under the Treaty of Rome of 2003.
If Palestine would be welcomed into that august body on the Hudson, then, as a sovereign nation, â€œWe would have [to have] responsibilities,â€ too, Areikat stated. â€œWe would [then] have to follow the U.N. Charter,â€ Conversely, â€œThe Quartet [the nations acting as interlopers between Tel Aviv and Ramallah â€“ the United States, the United Kingdom (U.K.), the Russian Federation, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations as a coordinator] is concerned about [this forthcoming] September[â€˜s confrontation], for [it is bound] to be more favorable to the Arabs. It is a foregone conclusion that Ramallah will gain the fifty plus one in the General Assembly guaranteeing a Palestinian nation, but alternatively, they can merely grant Observer Status; but, thereby, we shall gain international legality,â€ also.
Areikcat said, â€œWe may just be headed for New York as a rouse..[but we have the ]the right to tellâ€¦people our options!â€ Concluding, â€œWe can move towards independence!…We have rights under the U.N. â€œ Then, â€œWe can move forward towards [true] Independenceâ€¦Weâ€™ll have our rights under the U.N.!â€ There â€œwill be a change in international relations. In 1948,Israel agreed to be a neighbor of a bordering Arab State. The PLOâ€™s position is a two-State solution!â€ Ultimately, the agreement will be made between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Although there is EU support, His Excellency felt the European vote is in question.