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...

  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →
  • Commentary Featured Features Jewish 100 The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014

    The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014

    The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014 ACADEMIA Alain Finkielkraut Moshe Halbertal Deborah Lipstadt Jacob Metzer Steven Pinker Tammi Rossman-Benjamin ARTS AND CULTURE Yaacov Agam David Blatt Leonard Cohen Gal Gadot Scarlett Johansson Ryan Kavanaugh Steven Spielberg Harry Styles INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM Meira Aboulafia Adina Bar-Shalom Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Daniel Gold Anett Haskia Ephrat Levy-Lahad Gabriel Nadaf Dumisani Washington GOVERNMENT Tony Abbott José María Aznar Ron Dermer Yuli Edelstein Abdul Fatah el-Sisi Stephen Harper Goodluck Jonathan Mitch McConnell Narendra Modi [...]

    Read more →
  • Features Jewish 100 Jewish 100, 2014: Bassam Eid – Voices

    Jewish 100, 2014: Bassam Eid – Voices

    Bassam Eid Palestinian human rights activist While Palestinians who demonize Israel as the sole reason for their woes receive no shortage of media invitations, those among them who spotlight their own leaders’ iniquities are far less in demand. Even so, the profile of Bassam Eid, the Director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, is thankfully continuing to grow. Eid’s latest campaign is for the overhaul of UNRWA, the UN refugee agency dedicated solely to the Palestinians, which he says [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.