|Pros and cons of Palestine’s new status at the UN||
The recent recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations creates many opportunities for the Palestinians, although it could also lead to some problems.
The UN’s decision, in fact, provides Palestine with almost all the privileges of international law. It gives the Palestinians the right to file charges against Israel over the numerous incidents in which it has violated its sovereignty, such as the illegal arrests, military offensives, and the depletion of Palestine’s water resources, to name a few. This will facilitate the efforts to increase the pressure on Israel at the international level.
The recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state with a yes vote by 138 governments proves that the international community is determined to see an independent Palestinian state established. Only 9 members of the UN -- out of 193 --voted no on the resolution, which shows Washington is becoming more and more isolated on the issue of Palestine. Thus, the U.S. no longer has a free hand to veto Palestine’s complaints against Israel.
However, the decision will also have some negative consequences. The resolution recognizes the territories occupied in 1967 as Palestine’s legitimate territory and the regions occupied by Israel in 1948 have been ignored. This is a major retreat from the previous stances, including UN Resolution 181, which recognized Palestine’s right over 42 percent of its territory. Moreover, the acting president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has apparently forgotten about the right of return of Palestinian refugees and their right to receive reparations from Israel.
The recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state at the UN by the major Western governments, such as France, Italy, and some influential governments of Scandinavia, proves that there is a chasm in the West in regard to the issue of Palestine. Many governments in the West now support the establishment of a Palestinian state in the territories occupied in 1967, which is a 180-degree turnaround from their former positions of unconditional support for Israel. The resolution will also hinder Israel’s extensive plans for the expansion of settlements, which were devised to occupy more and more of the Palestinians’ land.
Hossein Ruivaran is a Middle East expert based in Tehran.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader