Unilateral Action at the UN is Counter-Productive for the Peace Process

November 15, 2012 5:14 pm 1 comment

The United Nations logo.

An American website has leaked an official document from the Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN, which reveals a plan to seek to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the UN. The bid to become a “non-member observer state” is due to happen on November 29, and was confirmed officially by President Mahmoud Abbas.  The bid would be put to a vote of the General Assembly and requires a simple majority to pass. The date is symbolic because on this day, in 1947, the UN voted on the Partition Plan.

The Palestinians already tried a year ago to join as a full state and suffered a defeat. According to international law (Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States) there are four conditions for recognition of state: permanent population; a defined territory; government; and capacity to enter into relations with the other states. Since there are separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza, it is impossible for the Palestinians to talk about permanent population, defined territory and capacity to enter into relations with other states. It seems though that they have a better chance to get a bid approved, thanks to the help of 12 EU states which plan to vote in favor.

The European vote is likely to follow the same pattern as with last year’s UNESCO vote according to a European Diplomat. Countries usually sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, including Belgium, Austria, Cyprus, Malta, Ireland and others, would be likely to vote for the Palestinian bid. Surely, in Jerusalem, Israeli diplomats are not surprised by the European support as much as they wouldn’t be surprised that countries like Czech Republic and Germany, which traditionally support Israel in Europe, will vote against it.

While it is clear that there are many Muslim and non-aligned countries at the UN, which will anyway support the Palestinians, it is less clear whether these European countries understand the consequences and the complex situation as a whole. First of all, Abbas does not represent all the Palestinians and the so-called reconciliation process with Hamas has failed. Hamas is against this move and they maintain control over Gaza while refusing to accept former peace agreements, refusing to renounce violence and terrorism against Israel and refusing to recognize the state of Israel. So how exactly do these European countries think that they are helping Palestinian statehood?

Israel withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza strip, dismantled settlements and got in return a Gaza controlled by the terrorist group Hamas, an increase in the amount of rockets and mortars fired into Israel, and more separation between the West Bank and Gaza. Retrospectively, most of the top politicians in Israel including Netanyahu, Peres and Livni claimed that the disengagement should have been done differently and in coordination with the moderates in the PA.

Wouldn’t it therefore be more productive for the peace process if European countries will call on both Israel and the PA to return to direct negotiations, instead of supporting a unilateral move at the UN? The EU is interested in peace, but it must know that it will not be achieved by unilateral actions, which are counter-productive.

Tal Ofer is a Member of the European Jewish Parliament.

1 Comment

  • i think you may be confused about the definition of unilateral. unilateral is what israel does when they annex territory. going to the UN general assembly is the opposite of unilateral. it is a formal request for recognition requiring a vote. that’s not something israel is going to be doing, so waiting for them is futile.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu’s Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu’s Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.