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Palestinian Authority May Lack Security Council Support

The PA lacks two votes needed in the Security Council for acceptance as a full member. If it fails, the US won’t have to cast a veto.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 3:39 PM

United Nations
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The Palestinian Authority so far is two votes short of the number needed in the Security Council for a bid to be accepted as a full member. If it fails, the United States won’t have to cast a veto.

Bosnia and Nigeria have not stated how they will vote. The PA also cannot depend on China, which has said it supports its bid but has not pledged to back a pro-Palestinian Authority vote in the Council. Approval by nine countries – a two-thirds majority – would force the United States to veto the motion to prevent it from coming to the floor of the General Assembly, where the PA is guaranteed a majority.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has claimed that the PA has the support of seven members, but the number probably includes China. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat that nine Security Council states support his bid for membership status, but he admitted, "We don't know if they will change their positions.”

Only the United States, Colombia and Germany have stated they will vote against membership for the Palestinian Authority.

A failure to win even a needed majority in the Security Council would be a moral victory for Israel and would save the Obama administration from angering the Arab world with a veto.

A failure also possibly may dampen enthusiasm in the General Assembly, which can pass a non-binding resolution to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a state. The resolution would not give it membership status, which requires Security Council approval.