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New York Times Opposition to Palestinian Self-Determination

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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New York Times Opposition to Palestinian Self-Determination - by Stephen Lendman

In September, when the General Assembly meets (beginning 9/13), Palestinians will seek de jure UN membership. Unless current policy changes, it will ask for official recognition as an independent sovereign state. Currently, it has Observer State Status only, denying its right to vote.

Israel opposes recognition. So does Obama, both Houses of Congress, and The New York Times.

Earlier articles explained the following:

(1) Last March, Israel told UN Security Council members and other prominent EU countries it will act unilaterally if the General Assembly grants Palestine de jure membership in September inside 1967 borders, 22% of historic Palestine.

(2) If granted, Israel will likely deny recognition, continuing its illegal occupation, this time against a sovereign country. Moreover, expect it to accelerate West Bank/East Jerusalem land seizures, isolating Palestinians on smaller portions of worthless scrub land.

(3) While rhetorically favoring Palestinian statehood, Obama categorically rejects PA officials seeking it unilaterally. Instead, he wants Israel to decide its terms, size, locations and timetable. In other words, he supports Israeli veto power of Palestinian rights, including sovereignty, an unacceptable/illegal condition under international law.

In a White House statement, he also "emphasized that a vote at the United Nations will never create an independent Palestinian state" even though defying a two-thirds majority General Assembly affirmation is illegal. More on that below.

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(4) Last December 15, Congress (by voice vote) passed HR 1765: "Supporting a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and for other purposes," including:

"affirm(ing) that the United States would deny recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and veto any (Security Council resolution) to establish or recognize (one) outside of an agreement by the two parties."

Obama endorses this policy.

However, Washington earlier provisionally recognized Palestine as an independent nation. According to UN Charter Article 80(1), it can't reverse its position by vetoing a Security Council (SC) resolution calling for Palestine's UN admission. 

Any veto is illegal, subject to further SC action under the Charter's Chapter VI. Ultimately, the SC only recommends admissions. The General Assembly affirms them by a two-thirds majority. At this time, enough support exists to get it.

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Moreover, UN Charter Article 80(1) and others empower the General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood and take all necessary measures to end Israel's illegal occupation. If sovereignty is granted, it's more than ever essential to do so, holding Israel fully accountable for not complying.

Up to now, however, Washington's threatened Security Council veto prevented de jure membership, despite its illegality under international law and its pledge not to do so against any state seeking UN membership.

In fact, the General Assembly has sole authority to admit new members, not the Security Council. If Washington uses its veto as threatened, the GA can circumvent it under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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