The Palestinian Authority has learned nothing from decades of futile UN Security Council Resolutions. Do the people of Palestine really need international consensus regarding the already very clear illegality of US President Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century?
Pushing on regardless, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is pursuing repetitive, useless and time-wasting options to give an impression of being engaged diplomatically with the international community and its impositions. While Abbas pleads at the UN to obtain another symbolic show of alleged international support, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon is lobbying the Security Council “to enlist their support for the joint US-Israeli action and to prevent support for any Palestinian declarations of protest.”
The draft resolution calls for a rejection of Trump’s deal and seeks yet another endorsement of the two-state compromise, despite the impossibility of its implementation. Abbas’s refusal to consider a unified Palestinian approach that encompasses all legitimate forms of resistance against Israeli colonisation makes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s job of presiding over the constant Israeli violations of international law and human rights easier. As long as the PA scrambles after the international community for a solution, the UN only has to regurgitate the same rhetoric about its two-state vision. Accountability in this regard is not applicable, as the PA and the UN know full well.
In what would now be perceived as a weak condemnation of Trump’s deal, Guterres cautioned against “actions that would erode the possibility of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state,” with reference to Israeli settlement expansion. However, the US-Israeli scheming goes beyond expansion to formal, rather than merely fact-on-the-ground annexation. The UN is, as usual, several strategic steps behind, so as not to run out of the plethora of violations to speak out against during opportune moments in which the Palestinian cause is exploited yet again.
If the US vetoes the resolution, which is certain, the PA is likely to get another round of passive support from the UN General Assembly. For Abbas, a show of votes might be enough to claim validity, yet again, for the two-state compromise, as opposed to Palestinians’ political rights. The truth, however, is that the international community has only supported rhetoric about Palestinian rights. Altering its trajectory now would spell disaster for the UN in terms of its own complicity in endorsing Israel’s colonisation of Palestine. Hence, the cautious warnings against settlement expansion while refusing to advocate in favour of decolonisation. Likewise, the UN will entertain Abbas and his overtures because the PA has proved that it squanders any potential for change.
Trump’s deal is the least of the international community’s concerns. Abbas is only accentuating his irrelevance with resolution gimmicks at the UN. Palestinians are voiceless at the UN primarily because of the UN’s protection of Israel, but also due to Abbas consolidating his role as spokesman for international demands and counter-narratives about what Palestinians want. A resolution confirming what is already known makes no difference to the political violence that Israel continues to inflict upon Palestinians. The PA should be turning towards its own people, as it should have done on previous occasions and refused, instead of wasting time at the UN for yet another opportunity to lament about delays.