Will the Palestinians achieve a vote for an independent state from the U.N. Security Council? Only then would the U.S. interpose its veto — and, from the point of view of the Arabs, shame itself.
Both opponents and supporters of a Palestinian state court every vote in the United Nations Security Council. The Palestinians have six or seven of the nine required votes according to Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki. They will now try to convince more countries, in order to reach the required majority.
The decisive place for the acceptance of a Palestinian state is the Security Council. Such a change requires nine out of fifteen votes, however each of the five permanent council members – the U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain and France – can block even such a strong majority with a veto. The U.S. has already announced this. According to Riad Malki, Palestine wants to get the nine votes anyway, since the U.S. would “shame itself” with a veto.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants to submit the application for full membership in the U.N. to General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on Friday so that he can then direct it to the Security Council. In the highly likely case that the Palestinians fail in their application, they can also apply to the General Assembly for an upgraded position from observer to non-member nation.
Israel and the U.S. are also making behind the scenes efforts concerning approval in the Security Council, hoping to secure a blocking minority against the Palestinians. If the U.S. can merely persuade six countries in the Security Council to abstain, the Palestinian application would fail. The U.S. would then not need to use their veto.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. wants a two-state solution that is achieved through negotiations. However the vote turns out, “it will not produce the kind of result that everyone is hoping for.”
Up until now, Germany has left how it will decide in case of a Palestinian application up for debate. Speaking for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (FDP) said they are once again on the verge of “intensive diplomatic efforts.” Germany is receptive to “constructive solutions,” but is also aware of its unique responsibility toward Israel.
Some countries in the Security Council clearly stand on the side of the Palestinians, ahead of the Libyans, but support is also anticipated from South Africa, India, Brazil, China and Russia. The four EU countries – France, Great Britain, Portugal and also Germany – could play a decisive role. Representatives of Palestine and Israel are allegedly working on Portugal in particular. EU politicians stressed repeatedly that there should be a unified European vote.