Monday, October 10, 2011

Latin America and Palestine

Mahmoud Abbas is doing a quick Latin America tour--Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Colombia--to keep the momentum going for a UN vote on Palestinian membership as a state (the vote will be "soon" but it is not clear how soon). The Colombia stop is especially interesting because the Santos administration had previously said it would abstain. This suggests Abbas is already trying to maneuver for an alternate solution that Colombia and other governments might support after a U.S. veto.

The General Assembly, however, could still vote to upgrade the status of Palestinians, who currently hold the status of nonvoting observer "entity." The body could change that status to permanent observer "state," identical to the Vatican's standing at the United Nations.

I have not heard what the U.S. position is on this option, since the very concept of "state" is so loaded within the context of Israeli-Palestinian relations. On the other hand, it could be a solution that settles the situation down for the time being.


leftside 4:55 PM  

The Obama Admin. is against this "observer" idea too. Israel and the US are deathly scared of Palestine being afforded the even the very limited rights that would come with UN observer status - most of all admission to the International Criminal Court, where War Crimes accusations could be leveled.

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