Live Currency Rates
  Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

The UN and the State of Palestine  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 02/12/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - Arab News) On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution according Palestine a "non-member observer state", instead of the "observer status," which it had enjoyed since 1974.

An immediate result of the upgrade would be to grant Palestine more visibility and a few privileges within the UN, including an office at the main UN building. It may also get a tad more resources from the UN, but in the face of the United States' threats to reduce or delay its funding of the UN, the organization may resort to asking some member states to foot the bill, as it usually does in such cases.

Another possible outcome is to enable Palestine to appeal to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In a statement issued on Friday, the ICC Prosecutor's Office said that it "will consider the legal implications of this resolution."

In April, ICC prosecutors rejected a Palestinian request to get the court to investigate war crimes committed during the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008. The Palestinian Authority attempted to empower the court to investigate those crimes by unilaterally recognizing its jurisdiction, but prosecutors said then only internationally recognized states could accept jurisdiction, which Palestine was not. This may now change.

Although Thursday's UN resolution is certainly too little and way too late, it is probably the most significant step the United Nations has taken since 1947 to help Palestine exercise its rights as a state. In 1947, the UN partitioned Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Since then, it has done everything to help the Jewish state (Israel) exercise its full rights as a UN member, but has done very little to enable the Arab state (Palestine) to do the same.

Some analysts, confused by President Abbas reference to a birth certificate, have said that the new resolution establishes Palestine as a state, but in fact that was done long time ago and has been reaffirmed since then. For starters, the 1947 Palestine Partition Plan, which the UN General Assembly adopted as Resolution 181 (29 November 1947), divided Palestine into two "independent Arab and Jewish states", which should come into existence in Palestine "not later than Oct. 1, 1948." The partition plan set in detail the boundaries of the two states, allocating to the Arab state 45 percent of Palestine's territory.

The fact that the UN 1947 resolution conferred or reaffirmed the state status of Palestine is not in dispute, although legal scholars may differ on the finer points of this recognition. By contrast, for Israel it was the first, and to date the most important, decision conferring some legitimacy to carving out part of historical Palestine for the new Jewish state. Israel recognized the resolution's significance, as is clear from the way its declaration of independence of May 14, 1948 referred to it.

For the Palestinians it was more obvious. After all, the 1947 resolution referred to "Palestinian citizens," who then carried passports issued by the Government of Palestine, run then by the British mandatory authorities, which recognized them as such.

In addition, Palestinians had lived in the territory of Palestine since time immemorial and as such it was quite clear that the part the UN allocated to them was a state to come in practical existence no later than October 1948, as the resolution stipulated. It was the Jewish part that needed recognition, since it was a newly carved part of Palestine.

At the time, Palestinians, and many others, rejected the 1947 resolution not because they disputed the status of the State of Palestine, but because it carved out 55 percent of their land to a new Jewish state that had not existed hitherto.

As was established by the UN Special Committee that drafted the Partition Plan, Palestinians constituted 67 percent of the population, while Jews accounted for only 33 percent. More to the point, in the land allocated to the Jewish state, Palestinians constituted 45 percent of its population of 900,000. Land ownership was even more skewed as Jews owned about a mere 5 percent of the land.

As it happened, the Palestinian state established in the 1947 Partition Plan was prevented from exercising control over any part of its territory until 1993.

Since 1993, the Palestinian state has regained control over parts of its historical territory in the West Bank and Gaza. The State of Palestine has now been recognized by 132 countries, more than those countries recognizing Israel.

The overwhelming majority with which the UN resolution was passed on Thursday is another example of the world's recognition of the State of Palestine. 138 countries voted for the resolution. Besides Israel and the United States, only seven countries voted against it: Canada, Czech Republic, Panama, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau.

The fact that you probably had never heard of most of these countries is indicative of how isolated Israel has become. Palau, Nauru, Micronesia and Marshall Islands have a combined population of 180,000 people, and all rely on US aid for survival. Panama is the only country in South or Central America to vote against the resolution. Czech Republic is the only European country to vote against it!

The resolution makes it clear that there is an overwhelming desire on part of the international community to right the historical wrongs that were visited on the Palestinians. The only power that stands in the way is the United States, where domestic politics has prevented it from taking the right decisions.

The resolution called on the Security Council to accept the application submitted on Sept. 23, 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations. As such, 65 years after the original resolution creating the two states, and 63 years after accepting Israel as a UN member, the UN has yet to confer the same status on Palestine! Whether the UNSC will heed this call will be a measure of how serious the UN is in righting a historical wrong of its own creation.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Kuwait inflation edges up 2.96% y/y in March ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Wait city april 23 (kuna): kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in march by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year ...

Apr 24 2014DPG launches Masat to oversee portfolio ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai properties group (dpg) has announced the establishment of masat a new dedicated portfolio management company responsible for overseeing and managing dpg?s built to ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Shapoorji Pallonji enters final stage on Bloom Central ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Leading regional and international construction company shapoorji pallonji has entered the final stage of construction of bloom central project a 25-storey mixed-use ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Huge turnout recorded at Gitex Shopper's first day ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Buyers seek deals on newly launched smartphones the first day of gitex shopper spring edition recorded strong turnout despite the fact that it was a working day and ...

Apr 24 2014Landmark day for Dubai as bourse hits 5100 mark ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Bourse hits 5100 mark; dhcog to prepay $555m; govt raises $750m from sukuk it was a landmark day for dubai on wednesday as the emirate made significant progress on ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait's consumer price rises by 2.96 percent in March ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in March by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year, the Central ...

Apr 24 2014Heads of aid agencies urge int'l community to find the courage, will Syrians have plenty of ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Heads of five UN Aid Agencies on Wednesday urged the international community to find the courage and will the Syrian people have to cope with and survive over ...

Apr 24 2014US says any Palestinian gov't must "unambiguously" commit to nonviolence, existence of Israel ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US stressed here Wednesday that any Palestinian government must "unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and ...

Apr 24 2014Arab League hails Palestinian party reconciliation pact ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Arab League chief Nabil Al-Araby has commended the agreement for a national unity government formation reached between the once rival main Palestinian parties, ...

Apr 24 2014UN Chief: All Parties in Syria Blocking Aid ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) w York April 24 - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Investcorp continues expansion ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Investcorp a global provider and manager of alternative investment products announced that it has opened a new representative office in abu dhabi. the office is situated ...

Apr 24 2014Tim Hortons opens at Dubai Chamber ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Tim hortons recently celebrated the opening of its newest cafe and bake shop restaurant at the dubai chamber of commerce and industry by the dubai creek. hamad buamim ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait- OCA committed to cooperation with member nations - president ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Olympic Council of Asia is committed to cooperating with and providing all forms of support to its member nations during difficult circumstances they are ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Al Maabar hands over 60% units at Moroccan project ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi-based real estate developer al maabar said that 60 per cent of the residential units of phase one at its moroccan bab al bahr project have been delivered to its ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Dh8 billion Emaar bonanza for its shareholders ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) This includes 15 per cent cash dividend ? equivalent to about dh975 million ? and 10 per cent bonus shares or 650 million shares valued at about dh7. in a step certain ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Move to spur female entrepreneurship ,The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) UAE-based conglomerate Crescent Enterprises has partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to empower, mentor and support female entrepreneurs in a number of ...

Apr 24 2014UAE ranks second in government ICT use index ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The report covering 148 countries this year ranks countries in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies to boost national competitiveness. the uae ...

Apr 24 2014Choose Hamas or Israel, Netanyahu tells Abbas ,The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday over just-revived unity talks with Hamas, saying he had to choose between ...

Apr 24 2014Umrah cancellation rumors scotched ,Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The haj ministry has not received cancellations for umrah reservations in the wake of the coronavirus said abdullah marghalani undersecretary at the haj ministry and general ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Civil Defence Centre in Al Thumama opens ,The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A new Civil Defence Centre with modern facilities was opened yesterday in Al Thumama by the Director General of Public Security Staff Major General Saad bin Jassim Al ...


Live Currency Rates



Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help