August 10, 2011

In their near-hysterical efforts to prevent Palestinians from asking the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel and the United States have put forward a number of insupportable arguments that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

The claim that the UN is not the appropriate address for bringing about Palestinian statehood that underlies the various legal, political and prudential arguments mustered against the Palestinian initiative can only be described as a lie. Not only was the UN set up to deal with issues of war and peace, it set the indisputable legal point of reference for all subsequent Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts—Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

Indeed, one of the main purposes of the UN was ending colonial domination and promoting the self-determination of native populations in former mandated territories. It is the UN’s action in its Partition Resolution of 1947 that established the legitimacy of a Jewish State of Israel in a part of Palestine, at the time a British mandate, a fact celebrated in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. That same resolution established the legitimacy of Palestinian patrimony in an Arab state whose territory was twice as large as Palestinians claim for their state today.

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