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!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • 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.