The vote to deny the Palestinian people statehood in the UN last night is one of the most cynical and deeply disappointing events in recent international diplomacy. The extent to which the UN is susceptible to US/Israeli pressure has effectively removed any reasonable prospect of peace and justice for the Palestinian people in the near future. Very few people in the world doubt that the manner in which the Palestinian people have suffered in the past 60 years is a major injustice: there is a clear majority in the UN at large, and in the Security Council specifically, for recognition of a Palestinian State and for the implementation of the 1967 UN Resolution prescribing the borders of Palestine. Following the genocide to which they were subject during the recent conflict in Gaza, that sympathy - and the guilt - of the international community, has increased greatly. The case for a Palestinian State is wholly irresistible: the debt owed to the Jewish people following the events of the Holocaust of 1943-45 is equaled by the suffering and injustice of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israelis. It is therefore a matter of substantial regret that the US/Israeli-led coalition against the Palestinians has failed to address their terrible plight. Gaza remains the world's outstanding injustice towards a people on purely racial grounds. Last night the US and Australia, abetted by UK, Nigeria, Lithuania, South Korea and Rwanda, denied peace and justice to the people of Palestine in defiance of the world.
A Palestinian State will happen, there can be no doubt of this: the momentum is building, recognition is happening unilaterally throughout the world and the US/Israel's ability to keep the international will at bay is weakening. Nevertheless it is a setback for the process and reveals how completely in the control of Israeli influence the US Congress and Presidency is. Great credit is due to China, France and Russia for pushing the Jordanian resolution, which has the support of the UN, so close to success. The outcome serves to reveal the reprehensible conduct of the US and Australia and is something of a national disgrace for Nigeria - which has already recognised Palestine, but cravenly abstained under US/Israeli duress. The UK wriggled uncomfortably but it was never in question that they would do as the US dictated - demonstrating yet again their inability to act independently of the US.
In spite of this, it is some comfort that the vote was 8 in favour of the resolution, 2 against, 5 abstentions: Although insufficient to carry the resolution, it provides a clear moral majority for the State of Palestine. It is to be hoped that the dismay felt by the international community to the actions of the US and those it controls may translate into positive actions to relieve the suffering of the Palestinian people and to renewed efforts to bring about the Palestinian State that the overwhelming majority of the world wish to see. On 31 December that would be a fitting New year's resolution for people of good will around the world!
I was educated at the University of Manchester, Swansea University and the Polytechnic of Wales, where I studied History, Philosophy and Intellectual and Art History (MA). I have lived and worked in Ireland, Germany and Holland and the UK as a (more...)