September is certain to be a dramatic and challenging month for the State of Israel, politically and diplomatically. Hopefully not militarily.
The leaders of the Palestinian Authority are determined to play their United Nations “card,” knowing that they can get the great majority of member nations to vote for Palestinian statehood. Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban, noted for his pithy comments as well as his eloquence, often remarked that if a vote were put to the UN asserting that the earth was flat, it would pass with flying colors, with the U.S. and Israel voting no, and three abstentions. But this is no joke.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, seeking to end his political career on a high note, is set to address the UN on Sept. 21, and call for full membership for the “State of Palestine.” The U.S. has already said it would veto such a move in the Security Council, though it is possible the Palestinians could come away with recognition as a nonmember state, like the Vatican. This would allow the Palestinians to continue their efforts to delegitimize Israel and enhance their own diplomatic status.
The Obama administration has put out yet another call for direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, insisting that meaningful peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations, and not an end-around maneuver that could result in angry and, some fear, violent protests on the West Bank. Even the Russians are opposed to the PA effort and are calling for direct talks.
Israeli officials are worried over how this UN move will play out in New York and among Palestinians back home. But some PA officials are worried as well: concerned that Washington could make good on the congressional threat to cut off funding if the PA goes through with its diplomatic push and that UN recognition of a Palestinian state could put an end to the ace-in-the-hole of those Palestinian opinion makers calling for the so-called one-state solution — waiting until an Arab majority within Israel does away with the Zionist state through the ballot box.
Even as this drama plays out, the UN is preparing for Durban III, the informal name for the conference, supposedly against racism anywhere in the world but in practice focused only on Israel. Fortunately, this anti-Semitic masquerade, set for Sept. 22, will be boycotted by the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria and Australia, with others to follow.
Those countries choosing to attend should be enshrined in the Hall of Shame. Those of us who recognize the scandalous bias of the world body should speak out against both the latest Durban fiasco as well as the attempt to create a Palestinian state without negotiations.
The UN, sadly, is one body where majority rule is a far cry from democracy.