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US Veto of Palestinian State Res. Shatters all of Its Pro-peace Claims

Sunday 21 April 2024
US Veto of Palestinian State Res. Shatters all of Its Pro-peace Claims

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Alwaght- The US on Thursday vetoed an Algeria-drafted resolution at the UN Security Council for full membership of Palestinians at UN. 12 out of 15 members of the council, including Russia, China, and France, voted for the resolution, Britain and Switzerland abstained, and the US voted against it.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly had granted Palestinians an observer status, but to be a full member, all UNSC and at least two-thirds of the UNGA should give a green light.

This unilateral action by the US, which has played the role of mediator in the so-called peace talks between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority for decades, in addition to drawing widespread reactions once again clarified many issues, and therefore this veto is expected to greatly increase the challenges of the regional policy of the Biden's administration after Operation Al-Aqsa Storm of October 7. 

Palestinians infuriated, Israeli happy 

The unilateral move of Washington faced regional and international reactions, and meanwhile, the Palestinian groups were more than others enraged. 

The office of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas described the veto an obvious violation that more than ever pushes the region to the brink. 

In a statement, Abbas called the American veto "unfair, unethical, and unjustified." 

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour after the voting said that the rejection of the resolution "does not break our resolve or defeat us. We will not stop making efforts. State of Palestine in inevitable. It is real." 

He added: "Please remember that after the end of this meeting, in Palestine, there are innocent people who pay the price of delay in justice, freedom and peace with their lives."

The Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas also accused the US of standing "against the international will" by vetoing and preventing the full UN membership of Palestinians. 

This movement announced in a statement that it strongly condemns the position of the Americans and asks the international community to put strains on them to go beyond the will of the US and support the struggle of the Palestinian people and their legitimate right to self-determination.

"We assure the world that our Palestinian people will continue their struggle and resistance until they defeat the occupation, regain their rights and form an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital," the statement read. 

Russia, which has strengthened its relations with the Palestinian parties in recent years and even wanted to play the role of a mediator in the negotiations between the Palestinian factions, sharpened its criticism of the American veto and attacked Washington's approach.

Its UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzya, said the US had shown "what it really thinks about the Palestinians" by exercising its veto.

He added that Washington thinks "they don't deserve to have their own country" and only understands "Israel's interests".

Nebenzya said that Washington is turning a blind eye to the "Israeli crimes" against Gaza's civilians, as well as the continued illegal settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. The goal is to break the will of the Palestinians, to force them to submit once and for all to the occupying power, to turn them into servants and second-class people, and perhaps to expel them from their homeland once and for all. "This policy, however, has only the opposite effect," he warned. 

But amid the international reactions and backlash, Israeli officials could not hide their happiness with the American blocking of Palestinian UN membership. 

Israeli Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, in an X post thanked the US for vetoing what he called "shameless proposal." 

Gilad Erden, the Israeli UN envoy, said that the full membership of the Palestinians was a "reward for terrorists" and would have made any future negotiations "almost impossible."

Without mentioning the Israeli massacring of 34,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly children and women, in Gaza and the heavy waves of world criticism, he posted: "It is appalling that even half a year after the October 7 massacre, the UN Security Council failed to condemn the horrific crimes of Hamas." 

According to an analysis by Blue Marble, the US more than any other side has so far blocked UNSC resolutions condemning the Israeli regime, which reached 48 times by December 2023. 

The US has vetoed a total of 89 Security Council resolutions since 1945, indicating that more than half of its vetoes have been used in favor of the Israeli regime. Among the vetoed resolutions, 33 resolutions were related to the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel or the behavior of this regime towards the Palestinian people.

The first time Washington used the veto to support Israel was in September 1972, when the Security Council passed a resolution asking Tel Aviv to stop its aggression in Lebanon. This was the second time that the Americans used their veto in the Security Council. According to data, the largest number of American vetoes were in favor of the Israeli regime between 1982 and 1990, when Washington used veto for Israel support 21 times. In the new century, Washington has used its veto 14 times in support of the Israelis. 

While Washington has not changed its policy of unquestioningly supporting the Israeli regime in the Security Council for more than 50 years, this issue has only led to an increase in Palestinian casualties, more displacement and turning Gaza into an uninhabitable place for millions of people.

The White House's diplomatic deadend 

Washington's move on Thursday, which unleashed a new wave of distrust and international criticism against the unilateralist and crisis-making policies of the White House in West Asia by blocking a new international motion to end the historical crisis and the current catastrophe in the occupied Palestinian territories, is expected to work like a barrier against the regional policies of Biden's administration, especially when it comes to efforts to conclude Cairo ceasefire talks, setting in motion new peace talks with the PA, and finally normalization of relations between the Israeli regime and the Arab countries. 

The approach of unlimited support to Tel Aviv in a away that gives the Israelis the feeling to put themselves above the law and international treaties and conventions and know no legal and humanitarian red lines in committing heinous crimes against the Palestinians and taking aggressive actions against other countries in the region will prompt the international and regional, and particularly Palestinian, doubt about fruitfulness of any US-mediated peace solution. In fact, this veto raises a question: Is the US really honest in its efforts to advance the two-state solution and formation of an independent Palestinian state? This question will certainly raise a challenge for the Arab countries especially Saudi Arabia that is seeking a paved way for normalization with the Israeli under the cover of advocacy to the rights of the Palestinians. 

It was certainly to escape this deadlock that after the veto, the US officials tried to pose as committed to the two-state solution. In this connection, Robert Wood, the US deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said his country “has worked vigorously and with determination to support Palestinian statehood in the context of a comprehensive peace agreement that would permanently resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. 

“Since the attacks of October 7, President Biden has been clear that sustainable peace in the region can only be achieved through a two-state solution with Israel’s security guarantee,” he said after he raised his hand to vote against and veto the resolution. 

“There is no other path that guarantees Israel’s security and future as a democratic Jewish state,” Wood continued. 

"We have long called on the Palestinian Authority to undertake necessary reforms to help establish the attributes of readiness for statehood and note that Hamas, a terrorist organisation, is currently exerting power and influence in Gaza, an integral part of the state envisioned in this resolution,” he said. 

Given these official stances by the US administration, regardless of the dishonesty about support to the two-state solution, what Washington puts forward as a Palestinian state does not correspond in any way to the characteristics of an independent country with internationally accepted sovereignty and a member of the United Nations and enjoying the privileges of other members. 

Actually, if Palestine becomes an independent UN member with sovereignty, the Israeli regime will run into serious limitations continuing its aggression and violations against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and will undergo Palestinian state-triggerd international pressures for its past and present occupation and its internationally illegal settlements, as well as its historical crimes and genocides against the civilians. 

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