Washington Threatens Palestinian Statehood Bid – by Stephen Lendman
Washington wages wars multiple ways, including militarily, financially, and politically by supporting wrong over right each time.
For decades, it subverted peace negotiations and Palestine’s bid for statehood. The Obama administration’s now doing it again, besides waging multiple wars and undermining freedom wherever it surfaces, abroad and at home.
On August 26, Haaretz headlined: “US: We will stop aid to Palestinians if UN bid proceeds,” saying:
America “will stop all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if they” pursue statehood and de jure UN membership In September.
US Consul General Daniel Rubenstein told chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that Washington will veto a UN Security Council resolution if it’s sought unilaterally within June 1967 borders, despite its illegality under international law and its pledge not to do so against any state seeking UN membership.
Moreover, only the General Assembly has authority to affirm new members by a two-thirds majority. It’s believed more than enough support exists to admit Palestine as a sovereign state full member.
Rubenstein also threatened to cut off aid and impose other unspecified punitive measures. Whether replicating in Palestinian what’s ongoing in Libya wasn’t suggested, but as Washington at times puts it:
Nothing is off the table, so expect harsh recriminations if Palestinians seek long overdue rights, ones entitled to all states.
In June, the Senate unanimously approved a measure to end funding if statehood is pursued. In early July, so did the House, voting 407 – 6. Its resolution also called for suspending aid in light of the PA’s unity deal with Hamas.
Both House and Senate resolutions are non-binding as foreign policy is the purview of the Executive, except for the right to declare war, a power restricted solely to Congress.
The State of Palestine, in fact, exists. It was proclaimed in Algiers on November 15, 1988 when the PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.
PLO legal advisor Law Professor Francis Boyle drafted it with safeguards to assure all their rights as a sovereign state, and that full de jure UN membership doesn’t comprise them.
Rubenstein’s threat is another reminder of who’s friend or foe. Washington’s supportive when Palestinians are quiescent and subservient to Israel.
In other words, willingness to sacrifice independence and stay occupied are requisites to avoid attacks and other retaliatory actions.
It’s time to ignore rogue threats and go for what’s there to be gotten if pursued.
Not, however, without opposition from AIPAC. It’s circulating action alert says in part:
If America “fails” to derail Palestine’s statehood pursuit, “the consequences could be immense: Israelis could be dragged into foreign courts and charged with human rights violations….nations could implement sweeping economic sanctions….the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem could come under severe international challenge.”
AIPAC asked for support to subvert Palestinian rights. Unless public anger resists, it may happen.
Francis Boyle emailed these relevant comments, saying:
Palestinians “act(ed) in good faith and with sincerity. (They’ve) been critically misled and misinformed,” including by so-called experts, willing to sell their souls by falsifying facts in lieu of accurate analyses.
They don’t care and perhaps don’t “even understand that once (Palestine) become(s) a UN Member State, (it) can ratify the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court and then file a formal State to State Complaint against Israeli Officials, upgrading the lower level Complaint President Abbas filed at my advice.”
“They also do not know that once (Palestine) become(s) a UN Member State, (it) can ratify the Genocide Convention and sue Israel for Genocide at the World Court, pursuant to the advice I had already given President Arafat and President Abbas, and get a temporary restraining Order against the Zionists, that would then go to the Security Council for enforcement, and if vetoed by the Americans, to the General Assembly for enforcement under the (1950) Uniting for Peace Resolution.”
“With these proceedings, (it may) be able to halt the Zionist settlement project of all Palestine in the immediate future. How else” can it be done?
For issues Boyle raises and others, it’s essential to proceed as planned to assure rights all Palestinians deserve no longer are denied.
Let imperial threats delay them no longer. Doing so is defeat.
A Final Comment
On August 28, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, “UN envoy Prosor: Israel has no chance of stopping recognition of Palestinian state,” saying:
Israeli UN ambassador Ron Prosor “sent a classified cable to the Foreign Ministry last week, stating that Israel stands no chance of rallying a substantial number of states to oppose a” General Assembly resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood and full de jure membership.
Gaining only possible abstentions, Proser said Palestine’s effort won’t be derailed. “Only a few countries will vote against the” initiative. Up to 140 support it, more than enough for a two-thirds majority.
The position of most 27 EU member states remains unknown. Spain’s on board. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Czech Republic are opposed as well as America.
However, an unnamed senior Foreign Ministry source said, “(m)ost western countries will not be willing to be in the hall and vote against a Palestinian state.”
At this point, the Foreign Ministry, Shin Bet and IDF officials believe it’s now best trying to influence the resolution’s language, “aiming at a resumption of negotiations after the vote.”
Let’s hope the current General Assembly session will grant Palestinians what they’ve been long denied. If so, it’ll be a major step toward ending occupation, Gaza’s siege, and greater justice.
They remain critically important unattained victories within reach if enough committed people pursue them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.