Thursday 18 April 2024

State Dept.: U.S. Will Veto Palestinian Statehood at United Nations

 State Department Principal Deputy Press Secretary Vedant Patel confirmed Thursday that the U.S. will veto a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution that would have allowed Palestinians to achieve recognition of statehood.

Earlier in the day, White House national security spokesman John Kirby had dodged a question about whether the U.S. would veto such a resolution, saying merely that the administration believed that negotiations were the only path to statehood.

But Patel made the administration’s veto pledge explicit, adding that there had been disagreement among the members of the UN Security Council about whether the Palestinians met the basic criteria needed for statehood.

He added that under existing U.S. law, funding to the UN would have to be eliminated if the UN were used by the Palestinians to declare a state.

The Biden administration continues to push for a Palestinian state as part of a broad Middle East peace deal that would include normalized relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. (Such a deal was near completion, without a Palestinian state, in the weeks before the Hamas terror attack of October 7, 2023.)

Most Israelis approved of a Palestinian state a decade ago, but have moved decisively against the idea, which is now opposed by roughly two-thirds of Israelis. The experience of Hamas terror has changed public opinion dramatically.

The United Nations voted in 1947 to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Israel subsequently declared independence, but the Palestinian Arabs rejected partition and opted for war, as did the surrounding Arab states. Since then, the pattern of Palestinian rejection has continued: more Palestinian energy and effort goes into attacking and protesting against Israel than into building institutions necessary to achieve statehood.

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