The Palestinian application for UN membership in a topsy turvy world
In this topsy turvy world, notorious human rights abusers like Zambia, Bahrain, China, Pakistan and Gadafi's Libya have been members of the Human rights Council. And now, the UN is seriously considering whether to admit as a member, an entity of which Hamas, which has been defined as a terrorist organization by the USA and the EU, would be a major component.
In his eloquent address to the UN on September 23, 2011 Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), president of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) called for an independent state in all the land occupied by Israel in 1967 including Gaza. But anyone with elementary knowledge of Middle East affairs must query his authority to speak in the name of Hamas-ruled Gaza or indeed on behalf of Hamas members anywhere including in the West Bank.
It is strange that no query was raised at the UN when Mr. Abbas who has been prevented from visiting Gaza since the Hamas takeover, claimed that he was speaking on behalf of the PLO which he described as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people including Gazans
This claim is sharply contradicted by Article 27 of the Hamas Charter which states that because the PLO has adopted the idea of a secular state it will not be fully accepted until it adopts Islam.
According to an Al Jazeera report, Alaa al-Rifati, minister of economy in Gaza said that Hamas has not endorsed the PLO bid for statehood because they see it as a Fatah-led initiative and Ahmed Yousef, the deputy foreign minister in Gaza told Al Jazeera, "Because nobody consulted us, we, Hamas, do not take this issue seriously."
In the circumstances the UN must clarify whether it is competent to impose PLO rule over an unwilling Gaza.
Conditions for membership
The Palestinian application for UN membership cannot be properly considered until several basic constitutional issues are resolved. For example, article 5 of the UN Charter specifically requires that the admission to membership will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council, not vice-versa as being considered at present.
Since article 4 of the UN Charter states that membership is open to peace-loving states, the question arises as to whether the fractured PLO-Hamas entity can be classified as a state, peace-loving or otherwise. And since Hamas-ruled Gaza comprises a substantial component of the Palestinian entity, the peace-loving requirement is very definitely ruled out by article 13 of the Hamas charter which unambiguously declares, "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad."
In fact the PLO is also disqualified as a peace-loving entity by article 9 of its charter which declares bluntly that the armed struggle is not merely tactical, it is the overall strategy.
Contrary to Mr. Abbas' statement to the UN that the PLO and the Palestinian people have renounced violence and condemn terrorism, incitement and glorification of terrorism continue to infect Palestinian society. Children continue to be taught to hate from the earliest age. See for example this clip and this .
On March 9, 2011, Abu Mazen's advisor Sabri Saidam, delivered a speech in which he emphasized that Palestinian weapons must be turned towards Israel and a few days later some inspired young Palestinians did exactly that.
Recently a town square in Ramallah was named after Dalal al-Mughrabi, the leader of the 1978 bus hijacking in which 37 Israelis were killed and 71 wounded It is hardly surprising that brutal terror attacks are motivated by children attending schools named after terrorists and by popular soccer tournaments that are named after terrorists.
Mr. Abbas' call for a solution to the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with resolution 194 is strange in view of the fact that all six Arab countries then represented at the UN voted against it.
According to an article in the China Worker by Aysha Zaki, of the Committee for a Workers International, "many refugees, who remain suspended in Lebanon without passports, democratic rights of participation in Lebanese society, entitlement to purchase or inherit property, and banned from working in more than 30 professions, fear the statehood bid, at best, carries no weight for their plight and, at worst, places resolution 194 in jeopardy"
Since Resolution 194 is a General Assembly resolution it is not binding, and only serves as advisory statements whereas resolution 242 is a biding Security Council resolution that is accepted by Israel and is the basis of the majority of negotiations.
Much has been written about the implications of resolution 242 and if we are to avoid the distortions introduced by propagandists, obviously, the most reliable source from whom to seek clarification are the persons who drafted it. In drafting the resolution, both British Ambassador to the UN in 1967, Lord Caradon, and American Ambassador, Arthur Goldberg, deliberately omitted a demand for Israel to return to the pre-1967 borders. In an interview in the Beirut Daily Star on June 12, 1974, Lord Caradon stated:
"It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967 because these positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers on each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That's why we didn't demand that the Israelis return to them, and I think we were right not to."
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According to the article in the China worker, quoted above "some Palestinians conclude that the UN bid for statehood is not in the interests of the Palestinian people, while others believe that it can be a step towards uniting the Palestinian people after a period of internal divisions".
Recommended reading. "Palestinians Defy the U.N. Charter" Co-authored by David Benjamin a former senior legal adviser to the Israel Defense Forces and David French.