Six Things To Know About Palestinian Statehood Bid

How Will U.N. Move Impact Peace Talks and Israel?

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 29, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The Palestinian Authority is expected to win an upgrade of its observer status at the United Nations on Thursday from “entity” to “non-member state,” which would amount to implicit U.N. recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been leading the campaign to win support for a U.N. General Assembly resolution raising its status. The move comes on the heels of an eight-day conflict this month between Israel and Islamists in the Gaza Strip, who are pledged to Israel’s destruction and oppose his efforts toward a negotiated peace.

Following are questions and answers about the Palestinian move on Thursday - the 65th anniversary of the U.N. vote to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states - and what it means for the 4.3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

WHAT IS NON-MEMBER STATE STATUS?

The Palestinian Authority is currently considered an “entity,” not a state at the United Nations. If the resolution is approved by the U.N. General Assembly as expected, that status will change to “non-member state,” like the Vatican.

Switzerland also had non-member state status until it joined the United Nations as a full voting member 10 years ago.

Recognition as a non-member state will have a certain symbolic value, giving the Palestinians a higher profile in terms of speaking order during U.N. meetings. But they will still be unable to vote during General Assembly sessions.

The change will also have important legal implications.

<

pagebreak>

The Palestinians will be able to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and some specialized U.N. bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency.

CAN THE U.N. RECOGNIZE PALESTINE AS A SOVEREIGN STATE?

The United Nations cannot grant countries recognition. That is something that is done on a bilateral basis. However, the granting of non-member state status to the Palestinian Authority does acknowledge that the majority of U.N. member states do recognize Palestine as an independent state.

Traditionally, universal recognition of state sovereignty is accompanied by full membership in the United Nations. That is something the Palestinians sought last year with much fanfare but failed to achieve because the United States used the threat of a veto in the Security Council to block the Palestinian U.N. membership application.

HOW MANY VOTES DO THE PALESTINIANS NEED?

The Palestinian Authority needs a simple majority for the resolution to pass. Assuming all U.N. member states are present and none is barred from voting for non-payment of dues, the Palestinians will need the support of 97 of the 193 members.

The Palestinians say that 132 countries recognize an independent state of Palestine. They are hoping for over 130 ‘yes’ votes from the assembly and a strong show of support from Europe. U.N. diplomats say it may achieve that.

WILL ANYTHING CHANGE ON THE GROUND AFTER A YES VOTE?

There will be no immediate changes. The West Bank will remain under Israeli occupation and settlement building will no doubt continue. However, the Palestinians say the change in status will alter the rules of the game, arguing that the vote means Israel can no longer call the Palestinian Territories “disputed” land. Instead, the land will have been clearly designated as belonging to the Palestinian people, even if the final boundaries still have to be determined.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.