Will Palestine Be the Newest UN Member?In Blog
This September, Palestinians are expected to push for the State of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations and to get additional countries to recognize Palestinian statehood. Will this important diplomatic initiative succeed? It probably won’t if the United States wields its veto in the Security Council to block Palestine’s application for UN membership. Given the Obama Administration’s track record of shielding Israel from accountability, there’s every reason to believe that the United States will once again try to thwart Palestinian rights.
Just last month at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, President Barack Obama declared: “No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state… the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations… Israel’s legitimacy is not a matter for debate.”
By equating Palestinian efforts to seek their long-denied rights at the UN with the “delegitimization” of Israel, President Obama is subjecting Palestinian freedom to Israel’s timetable. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’… This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.'” The worst stumbling block to freedom’s advance, King argued, is the person who “believes he can set the timetable for another” person’s freedom.
After two decades of waiting for statehood through negotiations with Israel in a U.S.-dominated “peace process” that always relegated Palestinian human rights to the back of the bus, Palestinians are now taking their case directly to the UN.
Although the US Campaign is not taking a position on this Palestinian initiative, we do affirm: “Mr. President, you are wrong to stand in their way.”
America’s support for Israeli occupation and apartheid is the key stumbling block to Palestinian freedom and it is up to us to change that.