Palestinian Americans “unequivocally reject” PA’s UN statehood bid

Palestinian Americans have called on Arabs, Palestinians and their allies everywhere to reject a bid by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ask the United Nations next month to admit the “State of Palestine” as a full member.

In a 27 August statement from its coordinating committee, the US Palestinian Communities Network (USPCN) wrote:

We call on all Palestinian and Arab community associations, societies and committees, student organizations, solidarity campaigns, to reject fully and unequivocally the Statehood initiative as a distraction that unjustifiably and irresponsibly endangers Palestinian rights and institutions.

The USPCN statement comes amid growing concern globally among Palestinians that the PA’s UN bid harms Palestinian rights. USPCN describes itself as “US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) is a grassroots community network with over twenty democratically-elected chapters.”

Earlier this month, as The Electronic Intifada reported, the Boycott National Committee (BNC) of the Palestinian campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel also issued a warning about the UN bid.

Endangering Palestinian rights

Like the BNC, the USPCN statement emphasizes that fundamental Palestinian rights, not “statehood” remain the core of Palestinian efforts:

As has been recently revealed, this initiative in no way protects nor advances our inalienable, and internationally recognized, rights—fundamental of which are our right to return to the homes and properties from which we were forcibly expelled, our right to self-determination, and our right to resist the settler colonial regime that has occupied our land for more than 63 years.

The Palestinian people, wherever they are, hold these rights. They are non-negotiable. No one can barter them away for false promises of “peace” and “stability.” The cynical irony of turning a UN resolution enshrining our right to return under international law (UNGA Res. 194) into a rhetorical ploy should give anyone pause. That it is being advanced at a time when the PA does not even have the political mandate of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza through Palestinian Legislative Council elections must also give us pause.

USPCN also urged Palestinians and allies to attend a 15 September rally at the United Nations in New York “For Palestine and the Right of Return.”

International law expert confirms widespread fears about UN bid

USPCN’s statement follows, and makes reference to, a recent memorandum by Guy Goodwin-Gill, an international law expert at the University of Oxford which warned that the UN bid could see most Palestinians legally disenfranchised if an illusory “State of Palestine” were to replace the PLO as the holder of Palestine’s seat at the UN.

Legally, the PLO has long been recognized as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” even though its structures have long been defunct or inoperable. USPCN echoed widespread calls for the reconsitution of the PLO on a democratic and representative basis.

Goodwin-Gill’s memo and an interview he gave explaining its implications have heightened concern among Palestinians about the PA’s ill-thought out and desperate step which comes after the complete failure of the US-sponsored “peace process” on which the PA bet all its cards.

In recent months, a consensus has emerged among Palestinian experts and organizations that the UN statehood bid is useless at best, and highly damaging to Palestinian rights at worst.

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Comments

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When you have exhausted all avenues, have been lied and cheated to in all peaceful negotations you have to find out who your friends are. You are just giving all those countries especially the US and EU an excuse to once again humiliate and ignore the legitamate rights of the Palestinians.

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It is utter nonsense that the PA's statehood bid is likely to affect adversely Palestinian rights. Suffice it to say that if Israel is having the jitters because of this bid, it translates into something beneficial for the Palestinians. Also, Prof Francis Boyle has dismissed any reservation anyone is having about this bid. If the bid is successful, the Palestinians will for the first time have legitimate claim to land within defined borders. Also, it will even add legitimacy to resistance by whatever means. Please, please, please don't let anyone, no matter how well intentioned, obstruct this bid.

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I agree with sami joseph this needs to be put out there to get the attention of the world, especially now with all the changes that are going on. Everyone understands that acceptance would be symbolic only, but we need the publicity _ every day all the time. remind the world this injustice continues right now ,as we speak. many of the us supported dictators are being toppled. will israel and the us control the middle east ? I don't think so. they have the guns but the oppressed have the numbers.

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The question of recognizing a Palestinian state, I admit, it bothers me.
First of all, I thought it is nonsense for the simple reason that we can’t recognize a State that doesn’t exist, or not yet. We must first determine the borders, expel the Zionist occupier.
Given how things are changing, what I consider, I have to adjust my thinking. It’s possible if at the UN there is recognition, it will be a step that may lead to other steps from which it will be easier to continue the fight. Why not?
However I think there is also a misuse of words; it would be more accurate to say: the day when an independent Palestinian State will be, a State free of the Zionism as ideology and free of the Zionists, do you will recognize it?
But I am still on my original idea, the need to make the intifada until the dismantling of the Zionist entity.
What is happening now? There are lots of problems at the base. Mahmoud ABBAS acts alone, not in agreement with Hamas and other components representing the people. The PA's security services, in agreement with the Zionist regime, attack the members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, they mistreat them and imprison them! Their brothers who are still trying to do something for the Palestinian people so that he covers all its rights!
I’s very difficult!!!

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Sine it was the UN who scooped Palestinians out of the way to "create" Isreal, the LEAST the UN can do now, is enforce its own resolution by protecting its original estasblished borders for Palestine. ...should have been done from day one.

Just as Israel confiscated Palestinian property with impugnity, there should be no problem if Palestine recovers its territory in the illegal "settlements"..It is morally offensive for Israel to deny Palestinians' right to return to their own propoerty while they extend invitations to Jews all over the planet to migrate to Palestinians' land, while the West stands by and shreiks every time someone verbally denies Israels' righ to exist....the double standard is seismic...

Basta!

Palestine deserves to be sovreign and free of Israeli oppression and interference.

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I fully understand that this "statehood bid" does not solve or rectify all the injustices done to the Palestinians over the past 65 or so years. But opposing this "bid" is, I believe, a huge mistake. It is NOT a "final" solution to the problem, but it could be a large step in the right direction and would empower the Palestinian cause. The only other people I know of who oppose this idea are the governments of Israel and the Inited States.

Consider Israel's constant insistence that the Arabs "recognize Israel's right to exist." Now phreased as "Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state." First, there is no "right" in international law that I am aware of "to exist," let alone as the state of a particular religion. And even within Israel there are at least a dozen interpretations of what "Jewish" means.

What we need (and what UN membership would help us with) is a demand that Israel recognize Palestine's "right to exist." This is not a final solution, especially as Israel has always refused to define its own ultimate borders ("from the Nile to the Euphrates" according to some Zionists).

But it is a large step in the right direction: Palestine would have a recognized role in international deliberations and a legal status it does not presently have. Let us, please, not join the Zionists and oppose this significant step towards recognizing Palestine and the Palestinians rights under international law!

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.