An Open Letter to the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague on Palestinian Status within the UN

Subject: An Open Letter to the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague on Palestinian Status within the UN
From: Terry White
Date: 30 Nov 2012
United Nations

Shame on you US and UK. The US (and of course their tail-wagging partners, Israel) refused to recognise Palestine’s diplomatic status within the United Nations, while the UK in a cringe-making move, abstained. But the outcome is there for all to see: The UN General Assembly, voted overwhelmingly to enhance Palestine's diplomatic status at the United Nations yesterday. Was it a close-run thing? No. US and UK, just look at the figures here- the resolution was approved by 138-9 on the General Assembly. 9 against, and 41 abstentions. 138 recognising that the Palestinian Authority has a right to exist in the UN as a "non-member state" from the previous category of "entity". It is now has the same status as the Vatican!

I hope that this will pave the way for the Palestinian Authority to reject violence and begin to move seriously towards a negotiated settlement with Israel. But this is something that the US and Israel do not want. While people are being killed on both sides, they do not want to show any weakness that may be perceived to undermine their position. I tell you, Government of the US, that is a flawed move. And as for you, UK Government, you are quite happy to sit on the fence, and flap on about press freedom, and sex scandals, but take no responsibility for the mess the UK made of Palestine after the Second World War.

Obviously the Palestinian Authority isn’t a temple to virtue, righteousness and moral goodness, but then neither is the US, Israel and the UK. It is only by encouraging responsibility and restraint that Palestinians will begin to believe that there are countries out there that will welcome them into the fold of civilised states.
How is your history Mr Hague? By and large the UK solved the Irish issue of the IRA by swallowing hard and sitting down with former terrorists/freedom fighters at the negotiating table. It can be done. But there has to be a real will to succeed and make difficult choices. You, US Government are not willing to do that and instead take the easy way out by voting against the Palestinian Authority being recognised in the UN. What are you going to do now that China and 137 other countries have defied you? Take away funding from the UN like a spoilt child? I hope not. I hope that you will look long and hard at what has happened and see if you can see a glimmer of hope for the future of Israel/Palestinian relations.

It will take you to show leadership to your unruly child, Israel. Show true diplomacy, United States, and you can once again be seen as one of the world’s leading ambassadors for peace. Please see this as an opportunity, not a crisis: Hamas would now accept a pre-1967 war settlement with Israel. That shows you what recognition and tolerance can do. Previously they have said they wanted to ‘wipe away Israel’ from the map. Such a sea change warrants a sea change from you, United States.
And William Hague, Foreign Secretary for the UK, what were you thinking of by abstaining? Afraid of upsetting someone? Pathetic. Worse than saying yes or no, is saying nothing at all and hoping that it will all go away. It will not, and you have reduced the UK’s good standing in the world by a few levels. Much more and perhaps the UK will only be seen as an “entity” within the UN.