This morning, Reuters reports on a new Palestinian effort to persuade the United States and the rest of the world community to support their bid for statehood at the United Nations (U.N.) later this month. The ad features none other than President Obama himself.
Using a portion of Obama’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, the ad points out that Obama wanted an agreement for a “new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel” this year. “If he said it, he must have meant it,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says in the commercial.
Indeed, Obama expressing hope that the Palestinians could achieve statehood this year was a highlight of his U.N. speech last year and drew large applause from attendees. Watch Obama’s words then:
The United Nations Security Council and/or General Assembly are expected to vote on Palestinian statehood within the next two weeks. The United States has been pressuring the Palestinians to drop their statehood bid, while most U.N. member states are expected to support the Palestinian effort.
Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin notes that the Palestinians are also developing secondary options in case the United States vetoes their bid in the Security Council. One of these options is invoking the Korean War-era U.N. Resolution 377, which would allow the Palestinians to seek a General Assembly vote to be a non-member state. Under the guidelines of this resolution, the Palestinians would need nine out of 15 Security Council votes to refer the matter to the General Assembly. Another option being floated is to repeatedly go to the Security Council, forcing the United States to veto again and again.