U.S. Vetoing Palestinian State It Claims to Support

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

U.S. Vetoing Palestinian State It Claims to Support

WASHINGTON - FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at law.uiuc.edu
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Boyle was legal advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Chairman Yasser Arafat on the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of Nov. 15, 1988, as well as to the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace negotiations and its Chair Dr. Haidar Abdul Shaffi from 1991 to 1993. He is author of “Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law.”

He said today: “This week, President Obama has attacked the Palestinian UN membership bid as a ‘distraction’ and Secretary of State Clinton has claimed the U.S. ‘strongly supports’ the two-state solution but that the ‘way of getting a lasting solution is through direct negotiations between the parties.’

“Negotiations with the Israelis were Plan A, but as I have advised the Palestinian leadership since 1987, Plan B would be to get UN full membership. The Israelis have refused to negotiate in good faith for all these years, so the Palestinians have now implemented Plan B. Far from being a distraction, a Palestinian UN bid would greatly enhance Palestinian rights. A UN member state of Palestine would be in a perfect position to bring Israeli officials before the International Criminal Court for their criminal attacks on Palestinians and illegal settlement activity. And every Palestinian living around the world would automatically become the citizen of a UN member state that is recognized by almost every state in the world. Palestinians would no longer be considered ‘stateless.’

“Many have claimed that if the U.S. does indeed veto the Palestinian UN bid, the only option would be for the Palestinians to pursue upgrading Palestine’s current observer status at the UN. This is incorrect. As Palestinian diplomats have recently noted, they can get the U.N. General Assembly to admit Palestine as a UN member state pursuant to the terms of its Uniting for Peace Resolution 377 (1950). So Obama’s veto at the Security Council can be circumvented by the General Assembly through the Uniting for Peace Resolution, which was actually pioneered by the U.S. during the Korean War.”

Boyle is one of several contributors to the recent piece “Does the Palestinian UN Bid Threaten Refugee Rights?” in the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.

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