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Abbas Seeks Palestinian Statehood Recognition Through the UN


By Rana Moustafa


Last month, Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and president of the Palestinian Authority, traveled to Washington D.C. to bid a proposal at the UN opening Assembly. Since then, he has kept his hopes high as he is determined to fulfill his obligation of giving his people their “legitimate right” to full UN membership and a viable Palestinian government.

However, opposition to this bid does exist. Obama has vowed to veto the bid if it is passed by 9 out of the 15 UN councils. At the UN General Assembly last month, Obama insisted that Palestinians must make peace with Israel before gaining statehood themselves. He also required that Palestinians and Israelis continue negotiating and formulating peace talks.

Abbas counter-acted that proposal in his speech at that assembly claiming that the core issue is that the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.

University of Iowa grad student Ruba Al-Haj sides with her homeland’s leader and says that negotiation requires a fairground between Palestinians and Israelis and since Israel has a membership with the UN; it is only fair that Palestine also gets full membership.

Gerald Sorokin, executive director of the Iowa City Hillel Foundation had a different stance on this issue. He emphasized that the bid will not be very effective if it is passed. Like Obama, Sorokin strongly supports negotiation between Palestine and Israel without any pre-conditions.

As of now, Palestine is planning to apply for as many of the specialized organizations of the UN as possible. Palestine’s application for full membership of the UN’s UNESCO will be put to a vote later this month in the general assembly.


Sources: Al- Jazeera, New York Times