Daily Israel Report

Security Council Remains Unfavorable to PA Statehood Bid

US diplomats say the Security Council change-up hasn't changed the fact that the PA statehood bid is a dead letter.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 1/24/2012, 5:15 PM

US diplomats on Monday repeated their position that a solution to the Arab-Israeli crisis would only come through direct talks saying the Security Council makeup remained unfavorable to the Palestinian Authorities unilateral statehood bid at the world body.

Addressing the American Jewish Congress in New York, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the PA application had floundered in committee and "essentially stayed there for the time being."

"I presume that is because the Palestinians decided that, given the voting likely outcome in the council, it wasn't timely to push it to a vote," she told the governing board of the American Jewish Committee. "The fact is, nobody knows for sure what the Palestinians will choose to do."

Rice reaffirmed the US line that a Palestinian state would come only through direct negotiations with Israel, not "through a short-cut at the United Nations."

The PA launched a unilateral bid for statehood in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords at the United Nations in September 2012 against strong opposition from Israel and the United States.

To be approved and passed to the 193-member General Assembly the PA application required 9 affirmative recommendations in the 15-member decision-making Security Council. It also had to avoid a negative recommendation from the five permanent members, including the United States.

However, the PA bid failed to garner sufficient votes and faced a promised negative recommendation from the United States, rendering it a dead letter. PA officials stated they would advance the resolution once new members rotated onto the council in January 2012 with the stated aim of shaming the US for its opposition.

Rice indicated the PA position in the Security Council remained untenable, "I think that we are roughly in the same place now as we were last year, and potentially even in a better position."

Council newcomer Azerbaijan is thought likely to support the PA application, whereas its predecessor, Bosnia, was expected to abstain. But Guatemala - whose economy is deeply tied to the US - is unlikely to follow its predecessor Brazil in backing the PA.

The other three Security Council newcomers represent no change.