Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Palestine Required UNESCO’s Membership

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Palestine Required  UNESCO’s Membership

Though ice of freezing Arab winters still deal losses on civilians as efforts to make Arab spring succeed grows larger and larger, there are promising news amidst of concerns at the prospective. The waft of the spring has not left Palestine out of the circle. There were protests held in Gaza as well as West Bank bearing similar characteristics as those of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and etc.

Two months ago, thousands of Palestinians hammered the streets of Gaza city asking Hamas militants and Fatah group to join hands after years of controversy sparked by forcing Mahmmud Abbas-led Fatah out of Gaza strip by rival Hammas.

However, wings have considerations to emerge as united front against Israel, and on the other hand, Israel also has worked closely with Fatah but constantly crushed Hamas militants on the basis of it's so-called disturbing armed activities, but no doubt shaking hands of Palestinian officials deemed promising for a large as well as deeper cooperation between the two wings.

Along other benefits, the move is also circumstantially beneficial to the state; Mahmmud Abbas with much confidence could submit formal petition to United Nations general assembly to becoming a full member of United Nation. Seemingly, without an agreement between two fronts, it was a bit difficult to Fatah leader to submit the request, because Fatah leader could not do that just from the side of a half Palestinian state.

In another word, he submitted the request on the behalf of Palestinians not of sheer West Bank where his wing rules. Without the agreement between the two fronts, Hamas could embark to violence, throwing rocket towards Israel that could have affected the favoring circumstance of UN General Assembly summit held in New York on September.

Anyhow, a report on Monday, October 31, brought about smiles on the face of Palestinians: Palestine was formally adopted as full member of the UNESCO. In a meeting held in the UNESCO's headquarter in Paris, 107 countries voted in the favor and 14 voted against and 52 abstained.

The report was largely welcomed by Palestinian officials as there were countries while having close tie with Israel but voted in favor, like India. The voting showed how the general mentality has turned towards Palestine and how countries are angry against Israel's activities.

Of course, the measure is realized as a diplomatic win for Palestinians disappointed of peace and negotiation with Israel that could lead to the two-state solution, and after that pursue full membership in international organizations, including United Nations Security Council.

Presently, there are other international agencies that Palestine is not the member of. Seemingly, after visible success in UNESCO, it is likely that Palestine officials push for membership in other international bodies.

The acceptance as member of the body shows the general sympathy for Palestinians. Experts maintain it is highly possible the result similar if the request put on vote in United Nations General Assembly, or possibly UNSC too. But there is big challenge—filter that will bring efforts in failure: the likely veto by United States.

Even before the submission of the request to United Nations General Assembly, President Barack vowed to veto in the case Mahmmud put the plea on the table. Washington officials tell that such a unilateral measure can weaken the prospective of peaceful solution to Middle East Crisis. They fear the acceptance of Palestine as full member will dilute efforts for negotiation between the two countries.
While Mahmmud Abbas insisted on presenting the request, President Barack Obama met him and pressured him to avoid the measure.

But the pressure did not work and he finally presented the request to Ban Ki-moon, the general Secretary of the United Nations, on September. He also delivered a speech in which he clearly detailed his countries efforts to end the crisis through peaceful measures, but Israel ultimately brought about the failure.

Anyhow, the UNESCO's move has angered Americans and Israelis. Right after the measure, the United States postponed the fund for the body which makes a quarter of its total fund. State department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland has told reporters that the country wouldn't pay $60 million dollar which was about to be paid to the body.

In 2009, when President Obama was elected as president many celebrated the event and he prioritized to restore relation with Muslim world suffered terribly during former President Bush as he constantly showed knee-jerk reaction to everything branded Islamic. But the story was completely different with President Obama. He openly hammered Israel for settlement building on Palestinians' soil. And he also clearly recognized the pre-1967 border as legal border between two emerging states.

So, the promises and efforts to end the half-century crisis of Middle East indeed made millions of Muslims fans of Mr. President. But now the process has started undoing. In last year's United Nations General Assembly, he hoped for a Palestine and Israel separate, independent States, but on September, this year, in the same summit and from the same tribune, he stood strongly against unilateral request of Palestine for statehood in the United Nations. He even pressed Mahmmud Abbas to avoid the measure and vowed to veto the move.

It is highly possible that US will do what President Obama promised to do if the request is put on the table, but of course the veto has remarkable political and diplomatic cost for the country. Even the European allies would not support the move too. France has already announced to support the request of Palestine and British which has been a close ally that did not follow it on Monday's voting against Palestine membership in UNESCO.

Seemingly, if the US insists further on its current strategy, it should be ready to pay enormous diplomatic and political cost in international sphere. And, moreover, its relation with Muslim world will be affected as they support Palestine.

Jawad Rahmani is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at jawad_rahmani2001@yahoo.com

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