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What lies behind the PA’s latest bid for full UN membership

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers during his meeting with Palestinian senior leaders in Ramallah, West Bank on 18 December 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Soon after the Palestinian Authority’s membership bid for inclusion in Interpol was accepted, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas declared that another UN draft resolution will be submitted to the UN Security Council seeking full membership. Speaking during a meeting in Ramallah last Monday, Abbas stated that the forthcoming resolution will be of utmost importance.

According to Wafa news agency, Abbas declared: “As you know, we submitted this request in 2011 but it was rejected for various reasons. God willing, these reasons are now removed because we are very much interested in becoming a full member of the United Nations.”

In September 2012 when seeking non-Member State status at the UN, Abbas clarified his reasons for seeking international recognition: “In our endeavour, we do not seek to delegitimise an existing state, that is Israel, but rather to assert the State must be realised, that is Palestine.”

The backdrop for this statement, and which will also form the new bid for full UN membership, is the two-state paradigm – a hypothesis upon which endless discussions and negotiations were held, and which resulted in a multitude of statements that are far removed from the Palestinian reality. The two-state compromise exists as a link between diplomatic corridors. Other than a perfunctory statement which has generated incessant exploitation, there is no value in the concept for Palestinians.

Abbas has yet to expound upon the benefits, if any, for Palestinians. If the resolution departs from the same premise of attempting to placate Israel, the value of full UN membership is already lost. It should not be the endeavour of any Palestinian leader to prioritise and counter claims of delegitimisation of Israel when the settler-colonial state is operating within binary roles which are, at times obfuscated. On one hand, Israel has delegitimised itself countless times through its colonial violence against Palestinians. At the same time, it is aggressively pursuing an international, purportedly humanitarian role while aspiring to reap support for its colonial expansion in Palestine. Its ability to manoeuvre in such manner is tied to international support, which also exposes Israel’s dependence and the international community’s refusal to withdraw their glorification and hold it accountable. However, in both cases the ultimate aim is Palestinian absence. It can afford to delegitimise itself as long as this is not overtly communicated which would eliminate the favoured process of shifting such blame upon other entities, institutions and countries.

International recognition, therefore, will be at the expense of the PA still acquiescing, in several ways, to Israel’s demands. The importance of such a resolution, if passed, depends upon any possible shifts recognising and acting upon Palestinian legitimate demands, regardless of how confrontational Israel attempts to portray them. Anything less constitutes an affirmation of the PA’s continued dynamics of subjugation and collaboration. In that case, it becomes paramount to ask about the concept of a colonised state and also to place the demands of the unwillingly colonised Palestinian population ahead of any resolution which is not averse to maintaining Israel’s power despite its embodiment of human rights violations.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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