UN – Palestinian Statehood Resolution

September 27, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

During the United Nations General Assembly 66th Session last week,

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the plea for Statehood and full UN membership as the sovereign state on behalf of 10,900,000 Palestinians in Palestine, the Arab region and the rest of the world combined in an effort to end the freedom struggle.

Palestinian citizens have been seeking sovereignty over six decades with recognition from more than 122 countries earlier and a significant number now affirming solidarity behind long overdue Palestinian independence.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict arising from Israeli occupation and settlements expansion along with checkpoints and barrier wall construction in Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem has exacerbated peace talks defaulting to Israeli military aggression and Hamas rocket firing with civilian casualties on both sides diminishing peace prospects.

Furthermore, Israel being the United States strongest ally and the largest military as well as monetary aid recipient overwhelmingly favored by the benefactor – United States in the so-called peace process.

Negotiations thus far have failed with United States obliging Israel’s position under security pretext while allowing rapid settlements growth in the occupied Palestinian land fomenting justified anger and frustration among beleaguered Palestinians.

United States open declaration to veto resolution on Palestinian Statehood claiming the move unilateral confirms the bias maintained all along with Whitehouse and U.S. Congress rejection of UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict by Justice Richard Goldstone in 2009 and Freedom Flotilla 2010 –

The sworn allegiance to the all powerful Israel especially in clear violation of international laws has adversely affected peace dialogue in the otherwise resolvable dispute.

Israel and United States objection over Palestinian approach through United Nations for statehood is self-contradictory considering the precedence in Israeli Statehood originating from British Mandate of Palestine in 1947 evolving into –

The newly set up UN organization approval of the Palestine Partition Plan (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on 29 November 1947 dividing the nation into two states viz. Arab and Jewish despite Arab disagreement then against the imposition.

Subsequently on May 14, 1948 the World Zionist Organization Executive Head and Palestine Jewish Agency President – David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel independence on the day before the British mandate expiration.  Soon after David Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first Prime Minister.

Since Israel emergence – the UN majority member states through numerous resolutions have disapproved Israel’s territorial incursions, the continuous settlements in West Bank and military invasions, administration and laws on East Jerusalem – illegal and invalid.

In terms of the present United Nations Security Council resolution on the pertinent issue – granting statehood to Palestine in semblance to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in the establishment of Israel,

United States opposition to Palestinian request is subjugation on the Palestinian population and a major setback for modern democratic society representing the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

United States could play a positive role in Israel and Palestine’s common interest with the UNSC vote without threatening to jeopardize history in making.

United Kingdom following suit would be a great opportunity in reparation of the incomplete British Mandate for Palestine enabling a new dimension to the status quo.

Besides, the liberal partner in the current coalition UK government has a unique moment to fulfill the pledge to restore human rights and freedom on and offshore in the crucial UNSC vote for Palestinian statehood.

France backing Palestinian statehood at the UN General Assembly 66th session could be exemplified in action with the vote that would pronounce the European commitment to liberty and democracy.

Russia having cast the vote for the two-state solution on pre 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital is a formidable peacemaker in the monumental UN resolution.

China’s vote at the Security Council for Palestinian cause would define the relations with Middle East and Islamic nations in Central Asia and Africa given the emerging economy’s energy dependent status not excluding the anticipated export demand.

Understandably, Israel and Palestinian authorities have relevant concerns over issues similar to the events in the aftermath of Israel establishment.

Although the situation now contrast with the circumstances then with few exceptions, it is necessary to consider the factors for smooth transitioning and long lasting peace.

Israel highlighted on security, borders, Arab world accepting Israel sovereignty and the right to return for residency.

Security Israel being the nuclear nation together with United States providing nuclear, military and logistic capabilities are indomitable forces in the region dispelling the myth about security matter.

Poignantly, Palestinian emancipation would preoccupy the citizens in nation building and renew trade relation with Israel preventing unnecessary intrusion from fundamentalism or anti-Semitism that would mean anti-Palestinian growth.

Border – Per unanimous consensus among UN member states and United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which underscores –

“The inadmissibility of the territory acquisition by war”,

Hence incumbent upon Israel to withdraw from occupied territories in exchange for normal dealings with Arab partners based on the “Land for peace” policy.

Accordingly, territories claimed in 1967 Six-Day War by Israel will be returned i.e. West Bank (Judaea and Samaria), East Jerusalem, the Gaza strip to Palestine and the Golan Heights to Syria respectively.

Retaining the traditional demarcations of the Old City in Jerusalem into the Muslim Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter and the Armenian Quarter,

With due reverence to all religions  – Judaism, Islam, Bahá’í and Christianity in the Holy city of Jerusalem:

In the Israeli controlled Old City comprising the Western Wall and the Temple Mount,

The Western Wall and only the Jewish place of worship at the Temple Mount would be assigned as the Jewish territory.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre also known as the Church of the Resurrection – important to Christians near Muristan in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem to assume the specific religious designation without infringement from other religions.

However, the Old City with Al Aqsa Mosque located on the far southern side of the Temple Mount facing the Holy Mecca and the Dome of the Rock in the middle sacred to Islam and the Muslim community site, Waqf would be part of the Palestinian territory.

Israeli government enforced controversial ban on prayer by non-Muslim visitors at the site creating false perception is to be lifted for religious and communal harmony.

Israel sovereignty:  Reiterating the ‘Land for peace’ premise, Arab recognition of Israel sovereignty is directly linked to Israel honoring Palestinian statehood under the defined goals.

The trend reversal from chaos to calmness rests on reciprocation for bilateral and regional peace.

Right to Return: Palestinian diaspora – the refugees in Jordan, Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East in particular, return to post-independent Palestine could be reinstated as Palestinian citizens in Palestinian territory.

They could perhaps be economic migrants expediting productivity and development in Gaza – the coastal strip having experienced the ill effects of warfare.

Simultaneously, immigration laws applicable for entry into Israel and vice versa unless a bilateral agreement is entered between Palestinian and Israeli governments to promote education, business and tourism through special visa for neighbors.

The contentious issues from the Palestinian side are – Israeli occupation, settlements expansion, check posts and borders.

Repeating the process from 2005 in Gaza Complete withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers in addition to dismantling check posts from all Palestinian territories is required in compliance with UN resolution on Palestinian statehood.

Any violation in this regard would constitute breach of international treaty with economic sanctions, freezing bank accounts and diplomatic ties, travel restrictions and denying aviation, marine and ground access as consequences to rejecting peace accord.

Israeli-Palestinian crisis has prolonged over decades in averting peace rather than confrontation with intransigence prevailing over reason.

The loss of precious lives in Palestine and Israel could no longer be in vain and Palestinian citizens approach UN General Assembly in trust and hope for formal identity with their native land.

United Nations Security Council and General Assembly members are once again entrusted with the humanitarian task of ending people suffering identical to UNGA action in 1948 towards Israel.

Palestine will be born again with global endorsement for statehood at the United Nations,

Israel could share the inevitable peace and progress as a reliable ally and innovative partner leading the region and the rest of the world in all frontiers.

Permanent resolution to Israeli Palestinian dispute is within grasp and procrastination is evidently detrimental to world security reverting to cyclical violence.

Israel and Palestine have been burying their future – the youth caught in the crossfire.

It is time to ceasefire in settlement for a new beginning.

Best Wishes and Good Luck! To Palestine and Israel for successful two-state coexistence in peace.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

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