[While the Palestine Authority and the US/Israel maneuver to cut a deal or delay on the pending Abbas application to the UN for “Palestinian statehood” (a maneuver so hollow that many Palestinians have dubbed it as nothing more than a marketing strategy for Abbas to hold on to the appearance of credibility and power amid the rising popular challenges and demands, partly fueled by the “Arab Spring”), Palestinian people are not holding their breath for UN action. — Frontlines ed.]
The move would let Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas keep his promise of seeking U.N. membership but allow the U.S. to avoid casting a veto in the Security Council.
By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
September 20, 2011, 8:35 p.m.
Reporting from the United Nations—
Diplomats on Tuesday raced to nail down a plan to deflect the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, crafting a face-saving formula that could lessen the immediate prospect of a Security Council veto, which the Obama administration desperately sought to avoid.
Under the plan, the council decision on the application for recognition, which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to make Friday, would be put off indefinitely. That would buy time for the U.S. to try to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and would keep $600 million a year in American aid and other international assistance flowing to the Palestinians. Congress had threatened to cut the U.S. aid.
Diplomats said Abbas, who is scheduled to meet Wednesday with President Obama, had signed off on the plan.
The scenario, which Western officials have been trying to engineer behind the scenes for weeks, “is now likely,” a senior European diplomat said.
Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian legislator and ally of Abbas who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly session, said Palestinian officials are willing “to accept some delay, of the kind you would have under normal United Nations procedures.” Continue reading