Israel Blocks Palestinian Move to Upgrade Status at U.N.

heather nauert ambassador
United Nations headquarters in New York.

In the past few days, the Palestinians have been promoting a move to upgrade their status as a Non-State Observer to a Member State with the right to vote in the U.N. Last week, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki stated that the Palestinians would appeal to the Security Council in January, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas planned to visit the U.N. headquarters in New York to help advance the request.

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, in cooperation with a number of friendly nations, led a diplomatic effort to thwart the Palestinian initiative. He also spoke with some members of the Security Council, stressing that the PA does not meet the fundamental conditions of permanent membership in the U.N. because of its clear policy of paying salaries to terrorists and the public incitement campaign it leads against Israel in textbook and social networks.

In light of the Israeli campaign that would save the need for the U.S. to issue a veto in the Security Council, it appears that the Palestinians realize that the likelihood of the proposal passing has been significantly diminished. Accordingly, the purpose of Abbas is now likely to take part in a side event the Palestinians will hold, rather than to promote the upgraded status process.

Ambassador Danon said that “We exposed the hypocrisy of the Palestinians. They continue to pay terrorists every month and to encourage violence and incitement against Israel; therefore, they are very far from meeting the definition of a “peace-loving” state. The PA continues to error in its attempt to establish facts on the ground through unilateral moves while it has not abandoned the path of terror.”

The process to become a Member State of the United Nations is determined by conditions and procedures contained in the U.N. Charter. The first is a substantive condition, that the requesting state should be “peace loving” and be able and willing to assume the obligations imposed on it by virtue of the U.N. Charter. The second relates to the procedural requirement of a recommendation from 9 of the 15 Security Council member states and then the approval of the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority of its Member States.

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