US won’t approve UN membership for Palestinian Authority – here’s why

The Palestinian Authority first sought full membership of the United Nations in 2011.
If there hasn’t been a right time for accession since then, that time certainly isn’t now.

Such is the decisive view of the United States – decisive, because the US veto at the UN Security Council means it won’t happen.
Membership would, effectively, recognise a Palestinian state.
The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 12 in favour of the resolution, the US opposed and there were two abstentions.

The resolution would have recommended the 193-member General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, approve Palestine becoming the 194th member of the UN.
As the arguments were laid out in New York, the American rationale was laid out in a State Department briefing in Washington.

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It was always complicated – now throw in the timing and circumstances.
State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said: “Note that Hamas… a terrorist organisation, is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza which will be an integral part of the individual state in this resolution and, for that reason, the United States is voting ‘no’.”


Image: Robert Wood, US ambassador to the UN, speaks during a Security Council meeting on Thursday. Pic: AP
US opposition had been well-trailed in the run-up to the chamber vote.
Its long-held position is that the UN isn’t the place for such a move – that, while it supports a two-state solution in the Middle East, Palestinian statehood should be anchored in a deal negotiated with Israel.
They are words easily written, harder to realise.
The prospect of dialogue, let alone a deal, between Israel and the Palestinians is currently non-existent.
Israel’s view is predominant in President Joe Biden’s thinking on matters Palestinian, and this is no different.
Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan said: “If the Security Council recommends full membership for the Palestinian Authority that incites and funds terror with no control over its territory, it deserves to be called the UN’s “terror council’ not ‘Security Council’.”
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It isn’t a view you’d hear from Mr Biden, publicly at least, but the US president doesn’t need reminding of the well-catalogued weakness of a Palestinian Authority seen as corrupt, unpopular and unable to wield the influence that Western diplomats wish it could.
The Palestinian view was put to the Security Council by envoy Dr Ziad Abu Amr.
He told members: “Admitting the state of Palestine to the UN would lift a portion of the historical injustice that successive generations of the Palestinian people have suffered and continue to suffer.”
The view resonates with the bulk of his audience.

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Not for the first time, the United States finds itself out of step with the majority of world opinion inside the UN Security Council chamber.
It almost certainly won’t be the last.
In the shadow of growing conflict, a US president with enough on his plate is picking his fights carefully.

Source : Sky News