This week, the UN must show its quality….
This week, the United Nations can do one of two things, it can show its worth as an independent forum for the grievances and maybe even in the future, governance of the peoples of the world or it can fail miserably and be held hostage by the powerful but ultimately vested interests opposing the bid for formal recognition of the Palestinian peoples claim to formally recognised statehood.
This is a democratic demand not just from the Palestinian’s themselves but also, if this BBC opinion poll is anything to go by, the people of the world itself. It found a convincing majority (49-32%, if you include the 11% who were equivocal, only 21% directly said their government should vote no) in favour calling on their respective governments to vote for the motion which is due to be discussed later this week. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, most people recognise that a people have an inviolable right to self-determination. Obviously,that is currently being denied to the Palestinian’s, chiefly by the Israeli government, but now also by it’s international allies, most notably those in Washington.
They say that the only way the Palestinian’s can have a state is through a negotiated settlement. Of course, it is right that there should be a negotiated settlement but the right to national self-d termination is not contingent on anybody negotiating with anybody. Imagine the outcry we would hear from these hypocrites if we said ‘Israeli’s should only be allowed the right to exist as a nation if they stop building settlements’. The fact is that Washington, Mr Blair, and all the others trying to brow-beat the Palestinian’s into not raising this issue have abandoned support for a democratic two-state solution in practice and now seem to favour only a settlement in which the Israeli government dictates the terms and is forced to concede the sum total of nothing.
Now is the time for the UN to show it’s quality, to show that it can act independently and be more than the sum of it’s parts. It needs too because their are few situations which need a truly neutral arbiter than that one in the Middle East, only when there is a strong, consistent and neutral force putting pressure on both sides is the situation likely to be resolved. Let’s hope the UN can show it is up to that role and deserves it’s lofty moniker this week.