Palestine Seeks Membership in UN

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BY MILA MIMICA ANCHOR ANTHONY MARTINEZ In an effort to spur stalled peace negotiations with Israel, Repr...
BY MILA MIMICA ANCHOR ANTHONY MARTINEZ In an effort to spur stalled peace negotiations with Israel, Representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization will seek membership in the UN next week -- MSNBC has more: “The stage is set for a showdown in the UN Security Council over Palestinian statehood. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the Council next week to grant his people full UN membership, bypassing negotiations with Israel and the US.” The US disapproves of the move and is vowing to veto the resolution as a member of the Security Council. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the administration wants to focus on peace talks: “The Palestinians will not and cannot achieve statehood through a declaration at the United Nations. It is a distraction and frankly, it’s counterproductive. That remains our position. We continue to be focused with great intensity on the need to get Israelis and Palestinians together again in direct negotiations.’ The US veto would prevent Palestine from joining the UN. But according to CNN, there’s another option: “If they want to avoid a US veto, the Palestinians are very likely to come here, next door, at the UN general assembly already full of 193 countries.” Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, says his country is determined to seek membership. “If one road is blocked we will follow another one, but the objective is still the same, and as they say, there are many roads to lead to Rome.” If Palestine chooses to go through the general assembly -- it won’t be able to vote, but it could join UN bodies and conventions -- including the International Criminal Court. Some are worried -- if that happens -- Palestine would challenge Israel with international legal action. But Palestinian ambassador to the US Maen Rashid Areikat says that’s not the plan -- for now. “We don’t have any immediate plans to go to the ICC. We don’t have any immediate plans to pursue Israel legally, but we reserve the right to do whatever is needed accorded to us under UN charter International law to defend the rights of the Palestinian people.” A columnist for Al Jazeera claims the resolution could finally bring peace to a tumultuous region. “Practically, not much would change...Nonetheless, the symbolism of the admission would be tremendous. The Middle East peace process could be set on a new path of fairness and equality, leading to a side-by-side of two "peace-loving" states.” But The Economist says -- every party is misguided in this dispute. On the Palestinians, the paper writes: “If they win the vote in the General Assembly, America's Congress seems almost guaranteed to vote to cut off aid, which would be a severe blow for the Palestinian Authority's donor-dependent economy.” (SOC) And of the Americans: “The American rejection of that result will also be a mistake. It will severely damage America's aspirations to improve its standing in the perhaps-democratising Arab world.” (AOC) The US sent two Mideast experts to Palestine last week in a last ditch effort to sway Palestinians to stick to negotiations rather than seek recognition with the UN.