‘A diplomatic storm is coming in January’. Will Obama use his veto?

Analysis: Changes to UN Security Council bode ill for Israel as two states friendly to Israel are replaced with two that are sure to vote for full membership for Palestine at the UN, and an American veto is no longer a sure thing.

Itamar Eichner, YNET

SCChanges in the makeup of the UN Security Council have made Israel’s diplomatic stance worse and strengthened the Palestinians’ position on the world stage.

During the weekend, five new members were elected to enter the UN Security Council on January 1, 2015, as non-permanent members for two years, while five current non-permanent members will evacuate their seats. Spain and New Zealand will replace Australia and Luxembourg. But the biggest surprise was Turkey losing a seat to Spain 60-132, in a blow to recently-elected-president Erdogan.

Israeli diplomats said that following the changes in the council’s makeup it is likely Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be quick to try his luck in asking the UN Security Council to grant Palestine full membership in the United Nations. So far, the Palestinians managed to obtain non-member observer state status at the UN General Assembly, but recognition from the Security Council will make them an official member of the UN.

Unfortunately, an American veto for such a move is not something Israel can take for granted anymore. Diplomatic officials said Israel is taking into bracing for a bad scenario in which the Democrats lose their Senate majority in the midterm elections in two weeks time and will then be free of obligations, which might lead them to get back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for all of the public clashes with the Democratic administration at the White House.

“A diplomatic storm is coming in January,” a diplomatic source said.

Should the Palestinians petition for a full membership at the United Nations, this is how the member states are likely to vote:

Should the Palestinians petition for a full membership at the United Nations, this is how the member states are likely to vote:

The permanent states:

  • United States – will object.
  • Russia – will likely support, in order to embarrass the Americans and force them to veto.
  • China – will likely support, in order to embarrass the Americans and force them to veto.
  • Britain – has yet to decide, but after its parliament voted to recognize a Palestinian state in a symbolic move, it is likely the Brits will remain on the fence until the very last moment.
  • France – has yet to decide.

The non-permanent states:

  • Chile – leaning towards support.
  • Lithuania – leaning towards objecting.
  • Jordan – will support the decision.
  • Chad – will support the decision.
  • Nigeria – on the fence.

The new non-permanent states:

  • New Zealand – yet to decide
  • Spain – yet to decide
  • Angola – yet to decide.
  • Malaysia – will support the decision.
  • Venezuela – will support the decision.

Israel’s hope: American veto

The council has 15 members, five of them permanent and ten of them are non-permanent. In order to pass a resolution, a nine vote majority is required. Even if the resolution passes, each of the permanent members has the right to veto the decision.

So far, Israel has had two lines of defense in the Security Council: The lack of majority for decisions favorable to the Palestinians and, more importantly, a guaranteed American veto. Before the change, the Palestinians seemingly only had seven states that supported their plight to join as a full member, so the American veto was not as crucial.

Now, the situation has changed. Following the election of the five new states, Israel has lost two friendly states that supported it – Australia and Rwanda. Instead, the new council makeup now includes Venezuela and Malaysia, two problematic states that could be counted automatically as those who would vote in favor of the Palestinian request.

Turkey’s loss, however, brought a sigh of relief to Israel, as the situation would’ve been far worse had Ankara gotten a seat – not only would the Palestinians have the 9-state majority they needed, they’d have 10 ‘yes’ votes guaranteed.

Israel’s last line of defense is now the American veto, and it is counting on it. But the Americans would do anything to avoid having to use their veto power, and it’s likely they will put pressure on other Security Council members not to support a unilateral Palestinian move.

The Americans will probably try to present alternatives such as the revival of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The Europeans, on their part, will try to reach a compromise – not to accept the Palestinians as a member state, but rather set parameters for a permanent agreement that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Such parameters would include Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, land swaps and declaring East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Israeli diplomats are saying that Abbas now has tailwind that will likely push him to go for broke and make good on his threats: Not only turn to the UN Security Council to set a deadline for Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders by November 2016, but also turn to the International Criminals Court at the Hague.

In addition, these changes at the Security Council will not only play a part in the vote on accepting the Palestinians into the UN, but in other resolutions concerning Israel, like condemning settlement construction or military operations, calling for UN inquiry committees on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and more.

October 19, 2014 | 16 Comments »

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  1. Republic of texasthis author”>mar55:
    @ mar55:

    Excerpts: From- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Texas

    The Republic of Texas (Spanish: República de Texas) was an independent sovereign nation in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. It was bordered by the nation of Mexico to the southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the two US states of Louisiana and Arkansas to the east and northeast, and the United States territories encompassing the current US states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to the north and west. The citizens of the republic were known as Texians.

    Formed as a separate nation after gaining independence from Mexico in 1836, the republic claimed borders that included all of the present US state of Texas as well as parts of present-day Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico based upon the Treaties of Velasco between the newly created Texas Republic and Mexico. The eastern boundary with the United States was defined by the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819. Its southern and western-most boundary with Mexico was under dispute throughout the entire existence of the republic with Texas claiming the boundary as the Rio Grande (known as the Río Bravo del Norte or Río Bravo in Mexico), and Mexico claiming the boundary as the Nueces River. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican–American War from 1846 to 1848 between Mexico and the United States after the annexation of Texas by the United States on December 29, 1845.

    On February 28, 1845, the US Congress passed a bill that would authorize the United States to annex the Republic of Texas. On March 1, US President John Tyler signed the bill. The legislation set the date for annexation for December 29 of the same year. Faced with imminent American annexation of Texas, Charles Elliot and Alphonse de Saligny, the British and French ministers to Texas, were dispatched to Mexico City by their governments. Meeting with Mexico’s foreign secretary, they signed a “Diplomatic Act” in which Mexico offered to recognize an independent Texas with boundaries that would be determined with French and British mediation. Texas President Anson Jones forwarded both offers to a specially elected convention meeting at Austin, and the American proposal was accepted with only one dissenting vote. The Mexican proposal was never put to a vote. Following the previous decree of President Jones, the proposal was then put to a vote throughout the republic.

    On October 13, 1845, a large majority of voters in the republic approved both the American offer and the proposed constitution that specifically endorsed slavery and emigrants bringing slaves to Texas.[15] This constitution was later accepted by the US Congress, making Texas a US state on the same day annexation took effect, December 29, 1845 (therefore bypassing a territorial phase).[16] One of the motivations for annexation was the huge debts which the Republic of Texas government had incurred. As part of the Compromise of 1850, in return for $10,000,000 in Federal bonds, Texas dropped claims to territory which included parts of present-day Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

    The resolution did include two unique provisions: First, it said up to four additional states could be created from Texas’ territory with the consent of the State of Texas (and that new states north of the Missouri Compromise Line would be free states). Though the resolution did not make exceptions to the constitution,[17] the U.S. Constitution neither requires Congressional consent to the creation of new states to be ex post to applications nor to expire. To show the strength of the latter caveat, the 27th Amendment was submitted in the 18th century, yet was not ratified until the 1990s; thus, congressional consent via the resolution to new states would not expire, or require renewal. Second, Texas did not have to surrender its public lands to the federal government. While Texas did cede all territory outside of its current area to the federal government in 1850, it did not cede any public lands within its current boundaries. Consequently, the lands in Texas owned by the federal government are those which were subsequently purchased by it. This also means the state government has control over oil reserves which were later used to fund the state’s public university system through the Permanent University Fund.[18] In addition, the state’s control over offshore oil reserves in Texas runs out to 3 nautical leagues (9 nautical miles, 10.357 statute miles, 16.668 km) rather than three nautical miles (3.45 statute miles, 5.56 km) as with other states

  2. If the Pals get a vote at the UNSC and get 9 votes the US WILL veto it! Even if it passes Israel will ignore the vote. Just like many countries ignore votes against them. This will again show how irrelevant the UN is!

    It is too bad Israel is not popular with many but that is the fact of being a Jewish State in a world with 60 Muslim countries and many more who have anti-Semitic DNA in their countries basic makeup.

    Life will go on for Israel and the country will continue and progress. No reason for panic.

  3. @ bernard ross:
    everything is possible but they have always had such an option. I don’t think at this time it’s a logical or primary option because if it were discovered that ISIS or Hezbollah were behind such an attack they could not hold back the wrath of America and even Europe…..

    Why awake a near sleeping Giant?

  4. @ bernard ross:

    That’s my understanding as well. It’s one of the few states with all positive numbers. The deeper the other 49 or 45 states decline the higher Texas rises. Somebody up there is smiling on Texas and Israel. 😉

  5. According to a survey of Jewish Israelis published in Israel Hayom today, Jewish Israelis oppose creation of any Palestinian by a huge majority of at least four to one. The minority 18.2% who support it probably do so subject to all sorts of restrictions and limitations (the exact wording of the question is not reported in the news story). Even larger amounts (6,5 to 1 opposed) oppose creation of a Palestinian state if it involves Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley. SO what are we to make of all those blubberings by Shimon Peres and the Israeli Left that there is near consensus in Israel in favor of creation of a Palestinian state? I suspect that the proportion of Israelis who support the death penalty for leftist traitors is far far larger than the proportion of Israelis who endorse the so-called “Two State Solution.”

  6. Trivia, Texas has that right!!!

    Texas (which means friend in Yucatanese) is not one of the 50 states in the same manner as the other 49 states in the union. The other 49 states are part of the union by virtue of having been annexed. For any state to try and secede from the Union would immediately bring the wrath of the federal government down on them, legally, according to United States law. That is what happened when the south seceded. But Texas was never annexed to America. It has statehood through a treaty. Texas, technically, is a foreign nation, a sovereign country, that is bonded to American statehood through a treaty with the United States of America. Hence, the name “the Lone Star state.” And because Texas is part of the United States, but also not part of United States (a foreign country with the treaty).

  7. Mike Devolin recently reminded us that the chinese symbol for crisis contains both danger and opportunity. The seeking and approval of a pal state releases Israel from all commitment to the fully breached Oslo accords. This is the greatest opportunity to seize as a reaction to the pal attack clearly initiated by them and clearly the major breach. Israel is almost obligated to act to protect its interests, claims and population in area C which it has thus far made subject to negotiations, as a response to such an attack.. The end of those agreed negotiations become apparent with the unilateral action. It is also obligated by the unexpired directives of the LON mandate and UN charter to protect the rights of world jewry to settle in the mandate territory. The pal declaration of sovereignty over the areas A&B or more cannot go unanswered.

    This would be probably the one, only and greatest opportunity to change the paradigm of keeping the jews out of YS In such a circumstance Israel can annex C while at the same time NOT recognizing any of the pal “state” claims to A&B. Furthermore the pal declaration would render any agreement of returning pals, a formal link to gaza MOOT. These can only be formally achieved by agreement. There is the opportunity for a new status quo where the Israeli control of area C becomes permanent. In fact, more can probably be gained by Israel by reacting to clear pal intransigence than by formal agreement. This of course also protects the pal leadership from the sacrifices of conceding under a formal agreement and deciding on whether to let in a destabilizing population of millions of pal refugees. Such a scenario allows the pal leadership to get less but appear to be “resisting”. Over time the status quo would become permanent and the pals would have their state in A&B but would confederate later probably with Jordan.

    However, it is also possible that Israel does not make the formal annexation but maintains for C the current position. Even in this case the pal declaration would be a step further in the separation of area C from A&B thus in any future self-determination poll in area C by itself the Jewish population would win. Once the pals declare a state they could not seek to hold a referendum in A&B which they have already declared, they could only seek a self determination poll in C separately from the internationals.