Friday, November 16, 2012

Abbas' UN Chess Game

UN Vote Could Challenge Control of Airspace and Territorial Waters -Joe Lauria

The vote in the UN General Assembly this month to make the Palestinian Authority an observer state could give the PA the right over its airspace and territorial waters, which are now under Israeli control, and to press charges against Israelis before the International Criminal Court.
Observer state status would allow the authority to accede to treaties and join specialized UN agencies. Denis Changnon, an ICAO spokesman, said the treaty gives members full sovereign rights over airspace. The Law of the Sea Treaty would give the PA control of its national waters off Gaza, now under an Israeli naval blockade.
The U.S. Congress has threatened to cut off $500 million in security and economic aid to the authority if it becomes an observer state. In 1989, the Palestinians made a previous attempt to become a non-member state in the General Assembly but withdrew under U.S. pressure. 
(Wall Street Journal)

Unable to Pay Salaries, PA Pursues Statehood -Ben Lynfield

While Palestinians prepare for an upgrade in status at the UN, the PA has been failing to pay on time its 170,000 employees, whose salaries directly support about a quarter of the West Bank and Gaza population.
In retaliation for the UN move, Israel is considering suspending transfers of tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. ''If they breach blatantly the whole framework of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, then there is no way back and Israel will do whatever it sees fit. He who burns bridges should not complain about not being able to get to the other side."  
(Christian Science Monitor)

Israel Will Consider Canceling Oslo Accords If Palestinians Gain Upgraded UN Status
-Barak Ravid

Israel will consider partial or full cancellation of the Oslo Accords if the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution to upgrade the status of Palestine to that of a non-member observer state on Nov. 29.

The head of the Israel Foreign Ministry division for international organizations, Amb. Roni Leshno-Yaar, told Israeli embassies around the world: "The Palestinian resolution is a clear violation of the fundamental principle of negotiation and is a violation of the agreements between Israel and the PLO. The adoption of the resolution will give Israel the right to re-evaluate previous agreements with the PLO and consider canceling them partially or completely, and would make progress in the peace process more difficult in the future."

"Palestine" Does Not Qualify as a "State" -Rick Richman
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demands recognition of a Palestinian state while refusing to recognize a Jewish one; and he now seeks admission to the UN as a non-member state even though "Palestine" meets none of the four requirements under international law for a state.
  • Under the Montevideo Convention (1933), a state "should possess the following qualifications": (1) a defined territory; (2) a government; (3) capacity to enter into relations with the other states; and (4) a permanent population.
  • "Palestine" lacks a "defined territory." To have a defined territory, "Palestine" has to negotiate it with Israel; until then, its self-definition of territory is not a "defined territory" under the law; it is simply a negotiating position.
  • "Palestine" lacks a "government." It is ruled half by a terrorist group and half by an unelected administrative entity whose last election occurred nearly seven years ago. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate, and both are correct.
  • "Palestine" lacks the "capacity to enter into relations with the other states." Abbas has no capacity to bind the rulers of Gaza, nor even to implement his own commitments in the area in which he rules, with no capacity to bind "Palestine" to anything.
  • "Palestine" lacks a "permanent population." Most of the population considers themselves perennial "refugees" who seek to "return" to a different state, not to be permanent residents where they currently live.

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