CMEP Bulletin: September Arrives, U.S. Efforts Too Little, Too Late
With the Palestinian bid at the United Nations expected in the next two weeks, Israel and the United States are making last ditch efforts to stop the Palestinian efforts. However, Palestinian leaders continue to move forward with their plans, calling last minute diplomatic efforts, “too late.”
Current conjecture is that the Palestinian leadership will submit a formal request to the United Nations requesting full membership in the UN on September 20. President Mahmoud Abbas will then address the UN General Assembly on September 23. To become a member of the UN, a state must first be recommended by the Security Council. While U.S. officials have not stated unequivocally that the United States will veto a Palestinian resolution, it very likely. In a Plan B, as CMEP has discussed before, the Palestinians could subsequently take a proposal to the General Assembly asking for an upgrade in their status from non-state observer body to non-member state. Palestinians are expected to easily get the votes needed if such a situation arises.
In efforts to dissuade the Palestinian leadership from the move, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the Palestinian president this week asking him to abandon the plan, and U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East David Hale and Dennis Ross from the State Department are also in the West Bank this week to try to stop the move through face-to-face meetings with Abbas.
An Israeli source with knowledge of the meeting told Ha’aretz that, “this was the first time the Americans had spelled out the full negative implications of the Palestinian request to the UN.” The source went on to say, “The Americans told Abu Mazen [Abbas] the whole truth to his face in a rather harsh way.” Dennis Ross and David Hale reportedly warned Abbas that any request to the Security Council would be vetoed and even going to the General Assembly would result in a reduction of the approximately $500 million a year the Palestinians get in United States foreign aid.
From his compound in Ramallah, President Abbas responded to the pressures by saying, “To be frank with you, they came too late. They wasted all the time from the beginning of this year … til today or yesterday, they wasted all this time. Now when they come here to tell us, okay we have this idea or this package and don’t go to the UN, we will not accept it.”
For more information about the Palestinian Initiative at the UN, check out CMEP’s updated resource page on our website.
Click here to continue reading this CMEP Bulletin, including the following items:
- Preparing for the worst
- Ungrateful ally
- Disproportionate building
- The pricetag effect
- The Palmer Report fallout