News Commentary: Palestine Statehood: An Untimely Push

5 10 2011

by Sheena Carmel D. Opulencia

The leadership of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is determined to make history by pushing for the United Nation’s recognition of Palestinian statehood during the 66th General Assembly of the UN in New York last September 22, 2011.

This predicament has gained the attention of international actors and neighboring countries, most especially Israel, which has a long-standing dispute with Palestine. For most analysts, the bid of Palestine for statehood is not just about the recognition of the international arena; it is a symbolic stance that the country is no longer under the control of Israel. However, some analysts post a more contentious issue: Does the Palestinian statehood rule out the border disputes between Palestine and Israel?

Since 1991, Palestine has been struggling to attain UN statehood bid, much to the debacle of whether or not the country has already established a legal border, eliminating about 50 percent of its land being occupied by the Jewish State of Israel. The 1947 UN Resolution 181 called for two states, a Jewish State and an Arab State, forming the legal basis for Israel as a sovereign state. The Palestinian leaders, for almost 20 years, have claimed that the resolution has allowed Israel to steal land from their country, after annexing Jerusalem.

In consideration of the ongoing clashes in some parts of the Israeli-Palestine borders, security measures are always on alert for both countries, thus, leading to the contention of some security analysts that the Palestinian bid to statehood should first be addressed in the UN Security Council before it is addressed in the General Assembly. True enough, after last week’s GA, the Palestinian bid has been up for review, with United States President Barack Obama recommending for Palestine and Israel to join the Middle East Quartet – US, UN, European Union and Russia – in resuming the peace talks by October.

The weight of the decision now relies on the other members of the UN GA, especially for countries which are highly influenced by the US. President Obama has been adamant to bid for Palestine statehood, and although most observers view this as an adverse move in support of Israel, the US President has clarified during the GA that he only seeks for a peaceful settlement between the two countries instead of making a state out of a country where peace and order is yet to be attained.

More than being recognized as an independent state, the Palestinian bid is a lucid attempt to gain political and security advantages against Israel, most especially from Arab states. Palestine has to address socio-political, defense and geographical issues with Israel before it fully declares itself independent of other forces. Apart from the growing number of refugees across their borders, the Palestinian would have to be sensitive to the ethnicity and rights issues being faced by the Palestinian citizens in Israel. Before wishing for multilateral clamor and power, the Palestinian leaders must look into upholding the rights of their people first.

References:

UN security council to debate Palestinian bid. Al Jazeera. Retrieved on 29 September 2011 from http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/09/2011926231912163852.html

Obama confronts Palestinian bid for Statehood at UN: “Peace is Hard”. Bruce, Mary. ABC News. Retrieved on 29 September 2011 from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/09/obama-confronts-palestinian-bid-for-statehood-at-un-peace-is-hard/

Debating the UN bid for Palestinian statehood. Horesh, Roxanne. Al Jazeera. Retrieved on 29 September 2011 from http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/09/201191910126371759.html.

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