Thursday, April 18, 2024

White House Opposes Palestinian Statehood Revealed


The United States is actively lobbying nations to reject the Palestinian Authority’s application for full membership in the United Nations Security Council. The Biden administration’s efforts, as revealed in unclassified State Department cables obtained by The Intercept, are aimed at preventing a direct “veto” by Washington. This lobbying campaign contradicts the administration’s stated support for a two-state solution.

In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly granted Palestine the status of a non-member observer state. The diplomatic cables obtained detail the pressure being applied to Security Council members, including Malta, the current rotating president of the council. Ecuador is specifically being asked to lobby Malta and other nations, such as France, to oppose U.N. recognition of Palestine. The State Department argues that normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states is the most effective path to achieving lasting statehood.

While President Joe Biden has expressed support for Palestinian aspirations for statehood within a comprehensive peace framework, a diplomatic cable dated April 12 outlines U.S. talking points against a U.N. vote for Palestinian statehood. The cable emphasizes the need for Security Council members to reject any proposal for Palestinian statehood before the council’s open debate on the Middle East.

Experts note that without a unanimous Security Council vote, any decision by the U.N. General Assembly is largely symbolic. The U.S. opposes the vote, citing concerns about inflaming tensions, political backlash, and potential cuts to U.N. funding by Congress. The administration believes that premature actions at the UNSC will not achieve statehood or self-determination for Palestinians but could instead escalate tensions and jeopardize normalization efforts.

A second cable dated April 13 reveals Ecuador’s agreement with the U.S. position against recognizing Palestine for statehood. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister instructed its representative to lobby other Security Council members to reject the proposal, fearing isolation without U.S. support. With its seat on the Security Council, Ecuador holds significant influence over the outcome of the vote.

The U.S. position emphasizes bilateral agreements between Israelis and Palestinians as the basis for a Palestinian state, rather than U.N.-imposed solutions. The cables underscore the complex diplomatic maneuvering surrounding the Palestinian statehood issue and highlight the influence of key Security Council members in shaping international decisions.

Since 2011, the U.N. Security Council has rejected Palestinian requests for full membership. The recent push by the Palestinian Observer Mission for consideration of its application has sparked debate among Security Council members. The leaked cables shed light on the behind-the-scenes efforts to shape the outcome of this critical decision.

In conclusion, the leaked cables reveal the intricate diplomatic efforts by the United States to oppose Palestinian statehood recognition at the United Nations Security Council. The Biden administration’s lobbying campaign underscores the complexities of international relations and the ongoing challenges in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through diplomatic means.

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