Richard Goldstone’s repudiation of the eponymous blood libel he authored last year provides a number of lessons about the nature of the political war against the Jewish state and how we must act if we are to defeat it. Learning these lessons is an urgent task as we approach the next phase of the war to delegitimize us.
By all accounts, that phase will culminate in September at the UN General Assembly’s annual conclave in New York. As America marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 jihadist attacks, the Palestinian Authority’s well-publicized plan to achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state in all of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and northern, southern and eastern Jerusalem will reach its denouement.
The UN charter spells out the procedure through which new states receive membership. The procedure dictates that the Security Council must recommend to the General Assembly that a state receive membership.
Following the Security Council recommendation, the General Assembly calls a vote. If two-thirds of the UN member states vote in favor of recognition, a state is accepted as a member state.
In the Palestinian case, General Assembly support is a forgone conclusion; 118 out of 192 UN member nations already recognize “Palestine.”
Legally the General Assembly cannot act without Security Council sanction. So if the US vetoes a Security Council resolution on the issue, the General Assembly would be formally barred from moving forward.
But legal norms applied to the nations of the world are rarely applied to the Palestinians. Consequently, it is possible that the General Assembly will illegally vote on Palestinian statehood even without a Security Council recommendation to do so.
Over the past year or so since this new Palestinian plan to delegitimize Israel began coming into view, a swelling chorus of doom and gloomers has warned that if the General Assembly recognizes “Palestine,” in Judea, Samaria, eastern, northern and southern Jerusalem as well as the Gaza Strip, it will be a disaster. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has called it a “diplomatic-political tsunami.” The New York Times claimed Sunday that it “could place Israel into a diplomatic vise” as “Israel would be occupying land belonging to a fellow United Nations member.”
Certainly it is true that we will not benefit from such a UN action. But the fears being sown by the likes of Barak and Haaretz columnists are overwrought.
The fact is that while acceptance of “Palestine” as a UN member state will be a blow, it will mark an escalation not a qualitative departure from the basic challenges we have been facing for years.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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