US must rejoin international community by recognizing the state of Palestine
More than 100 nations around the world have recognized the state of Palestine. Why won't the United States? President Obama can redeem America's 'rogue' status by supporting Palestine's effort to join the United Nations later this year.
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Meanwhile, as a perpetual “peace process” in the Middle East appears suddenly threatened by peaceful recourse to international law and international organizations, the US House of Representatives has adopted by a unanimous voice vote a resolution drafted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) calling on President Obama not to recognize the state of Palestine and to veto any effort by Palestine to obtain UN membership.Skip to next paragraph
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Western politicians and the Western media customarily apply the term “international community” to the United States and whatever countries are willing to publicly support it on a given issue. They also apply the term “rogue state” to any country that actively resists Israeli-American global domination.
Slavish subservience to Israel
The United States has demonstrated a slavish subservience to Israel, as reflected yet again both in the absence of a single brave voice raised against this new House resolution and in the Obama administration’s recently rejected offer of a huge military and diplomatic bribe to Israel in reward for a mere 90-day suspension of its illegal settlement program. In so doing, the United States has effectively excluded itself from the true international community (properly redefined to refer to the great majority of mankind) and become a true rogue state, properly defined as one acting in consistent and flagrant contempt of both international law and fundamental human rights.
One must hope that the United States can still pull back from the abyss and recover its own independence, even if all signs currently point in the opposite direction. In fact, it may soon reach its moment of truth and have the opportunity to do so.
If Palestine, within its full pre-1967 borders, were a UN member state, not simply "the occupied territories," the end of the occupation and peace with some measure of justice, even if not imminent, would instantly become only a question of "when," no longer of "whether."
When, later this year, the state of Palestine applies for UN membership, Barack Obama must have the courage to assert his own country's independence and to permit it to rejoin the true international community by withholding the traditional American veto of any UN action opposed by Israel and by permitting the state of Palestine and the Palestinian people to assume their full and rightful places in the community of nations.
John V. Whitbeck, an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel, is author of “The World According to Whitbeck.” Versions of this essay have appeared elsewhere.