The focus at the U.N. General Assembly has become peace in the Middle East, as an impatient Palestine tries to officially participate in the U.N. as a state despite stalled negotiations with Israel.
The United States is adamant about stopping it. President Obama has stated that if Palestine applies, he will use the veto at the Security Council.
In the West Bank of the Palestinian National Authority, demonstrations are taking place by citizens who want U.N. participation. The “Arab Spring” of popular revolutions is their motivation, as they ask why they can’t be recognized as a sovereign nation, adding to their dissatisfaction.
After the 1993 agreement between Israel and the temporary authority, the autonomous government produced results in elections. The population of the West Bank and Gaza together is over 4 million.
Even through continuing negotiations, Israel did not stop building settlements in occupied territory. Palestine’s despair deepened as their position weakened.
Participation in the U.N. will not merely be symbolic. They will also be able to participate in organizations like the International Criminal Court or the U.N. Human Rights Commission. This would turn illegal actions in occupied territory into an international offense and will strike a blow to Israel.
Many things have complicated the situation, but America’s responsibility as the mediator is great. Opening the peace negotiations last September, they affirmed to have a peace agreement within one year. However, Israel again began to build settlements in the West Bank. America was unable to stop that.
Mr. Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place
If he uses the veto, the Arab world will revolt against their “double talk diplomacy.” However, while preparing for next year’s presidential election, applying pressure on the many supporters of Israel in the U.S. is also difficult. Domestically, the political right criticizes the situation, saying they are “treating terrorists and Israel equally.”
At the UN, Mr. Obama said, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable.” Losing America’s position as a “just mediator” won’t be of any benefit to Israel.
I can understand Palestine wanting to participate in the UN. It’s just that there is no need to rush a vote in the Security Council. America should also hold back in using the veto right from the beginning.
The Islamic organization Hamas, which is aimed at autonomous rule and a unified government, is opposed to participation in the UN. If we assume that opinions are splintered within the organization, it will take time to come to a consensus.
I want Israel to think things over carefully. It is impossible to ensure security while looking hostile to the surrounding population. There is no other road to take other than two countries coexisting.