Accepting Palestinian Authority Request for United Nations Membership Would Reward ‘Evil,’ Israeli Envoy Says

Security Council postpones consideration of full membership for authority, which has observer status in the UN General Assembly.

AP/Seth Wenig
The UN Security Council meets before voting on a resolution concerning a cease-fire in Gaza, at United Nations headquarters, February 20, 2024. AP/Seth Wenig

The United Nations is kicking the can down the road when it comes to demands by the Palestinian Authority to be recognized as a permanent member state, a move which Israel’s UN envoy says would give legitimacy to “evil.”

The UN’s security council acted to pass the application by the Palestinian Authority’s for full membership at the world body to a specialized committee tasked with vetting new members. 

The referral was the proposal of Ambassador Vanessa Frazier of Malta, the council’s president for the month of April, who asked that the application be given “renewed interest” at a closed-door meeting held by the special committee on Monday afternoon. 

Ms. Frazier asked that “consideration” be given to the membership request at some point “during the month of April,” according to a UN statement.

The Palestinian Authority has been recognized as an observer “state” by the general assembly. To be recognized as a full UN member, it must obtain a vote of approval by the security council. 

America, which has a veto power at the council, has in the past objected to Palestinian full membership, preferring the issue be settled as part of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. 

The request for membership comes amid demands for a ceasefire in Gaza and the implementation of a two-state solution in the region, the Palestinian observer at the UN, Riad Mansour, told reporters at the organization’s headquarters on Monday. “After we have these two equal full members in the United Nations, we open the door slightly in the direction of peace,” he said.

UN membership is open to all “peace loving states,” according to article four of the UN Charter, signed in the wake of World War II. Admitted states, according to UN policy, must have a permanent population, defined territory, government, and a capacity to enter relations with other states.

“Nothing is clearer than the fact that the Palestinians fail to meet this criteria,” Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, told reporters after the security council meeting. 

He urged for the outright rejection of the request for recognition of a Palestinian state. “Following 9/11, could anyone fathom giving al-Qaeda international legitimacy and status? Throughout history, there has been no greater reward for evil.”

The New York Sun

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