Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Ron Paul on the Question of UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced recently that the Palestinian Authority intended to seek official recognition of statehood by the United Nations. The UN Security Council president announced Monday that the council would meet today to begin formal consideration of the Palestinian request for membership in the world body.

Predictably, the United States has announced that it would veto any Security Council resolution accepting Palestine’s application for recognition. The exercise of the veto would prevent the proposal from being placed before the 193-member General Assembly for the needed two-thirds vote. A yes-no vote in the Security Council is not expected to occur for some time, perhaps a month.

If the United States and Israel are successful in thwarting the Palestinian plan to gain full membership in the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority will likely recur to the General Assembly, where the possibility of a veto is obviated and there remain a few less desirable, though more likely, alternatives to official recognition of statehood. These options include a change in status from a permanent observer to a nonmember observer state. This change would afford the Palestinians the chance to be a part of the various agencies of the UN, as well as to be party to treaties including the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court.

According to reports, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and their allies around the globe will attempt to stall such decisions while they work to resume diplomatic negotiations between Israel and Palestine that have been stalled for quite some time.

Presidential hopeful, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas, above) wrote recently about his view on the question of Palestinian statehood. Regarding the varied and vigorous attempts by the United States to deny statehood to the Palestinians, Paul wrote:

Only a political class harboring the illusion it can run the world obsesses over the aspirations of a tiny population on a tiny piece of land thousands of miles away. Remember, the UN initiated this persistent conflict with its 1947 Partition Plan.

As the nations of the world align themselves with either the U.S./Israeli position or the Palestinians, Congressman Paul laments the dearth of a strictly American/constitutional consideration of the matter:

We rarely seem to hear the view of those who support the US side and US interests. I am on that side. I believe that we can no longer police the world. We can no longer bribe the Israelis and Palestinians to continue an endless “peace process” that goes nowhere. It is not in our interest to hector the Palestinians or the Israelis, or to “export” democracy to the region but reject it when people vote the “wrong” way.

Dr. Paul rightly sees the United Nations itself as the primary cause of the contention in the Middle East. Additionally, he condemns neoconservatives in the U.S. government for loyally supporting the UN agenda and for so often subjugating the sovereignty of the United States of America to the will of an unaccountable and unconstitutional international body.

The UN is a threat to our sovereignty — and as we are the main source of its income, it is a threat to our economic well-being. Increasingly over the past several years, we see the United Nations providing political and legal cover for the military aspirations of interventionists rather than serving as an international forum to preserve peace. Neoconservatives in the US have grown to love the United Nations as they co-opt the organization under the guise of endless “reform.” Under the sovereignty-destroying doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect,” adopted at the 2005 World Summit, the UN takes it upon itself to intervene in internal conflicts of its member states whenever it believes that human rights are being violated. Thus under “Responsibility to Protect,” the UN provides the green light for a kind of global no-knock raid on any sovereign country.

In his book, Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, Paul correctly identifies the role played by the United Nations in not only the perpetuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but in its genesis, as well.

One of the first decisions made by the UN was when the UN General Assembly accepted the Security Council’s recommendation in 1947 to partition Palestine. The same year, the United Nations also got involved in the partitioning of Korea. By June 1950, under a UN resolution, America was back at war siding with South Korea against the Soviet Union and China, which supported North Korea. The partitioning problems of Palestine and Israel and North and South Korea persist to this day. Considering the lives lost and the money spent, it doesn’t say much for the UN’s peacekeeping efforts or our own foreign policy of the past sixty years.

These early decisions on the part of the world body, insists Dr. Paul, “turned a local and demographic issue into an international and highly politicized one.”

With this opinion of the United Nations and its despicable history of “peace-keeping,” it is no wonder that Congressman Paul would counsel the Palestinians “to avoid the United Nations.” After all, what benefit has the United States or any other nation derived from this ill-conceived and unconstitutional organization? Every country which accepts membership in the UN cedes at the same time a measure of its sovereignty and thus a portion of the liberty of its people, as well.

Besides, Paul posits, there is no safety to be found in allying oneself with the UN or relying on its goodwill to promote peace and prosperity. He writes:

UN membership and participation is no guarantee that sovereignty will be respected. We see what happens to UN members such as Iraq and Libya when those countries’ leaders fall out of favor with US administrations: under US and allied pressure a fig leaf resolution is adopted in the UN to facilitate devastating military intervention. When the UN gave NATO the green light to bomb Libya there was no genocide taking place. It was a purely preventative war. The result? Thousands dead, a destroyed country, and extremely dubious new leaders.

Apart from his philosophical and political opposition to the creation and continued existence of the United Nations (manifested by his continuing legislative efforts to dissociate the United States from this claque of globalists), what does Ron Paul say of the more pragmatic and immediate question of what role the United States should play regarding the pending Palestinian application for membership?

While I do not see UN membership as a particularly productive move for the Palestinian leadership, I do not believe the US should use its position in the UN Security Council to block their membership. I believe in self-determination of peoples and I recognize that peoples may wish to pursue statehood by different means. As we saw after the Cold War, numerous new states were born out of the ruins of the USSR as the various old Soviet Republics decided that smaller states were preferable to an enormous and oppressive multi-national conglomerate.

Finally, as he does so reliably and consistently, Dr. Paul concludes his analysis with a call to the people of the United States and their elected leaders in Congress and the White House to “end all foreign aid, stop arming foreign countries, encourage peaceful diplomatic resolutions to conflicts, and disengage militarily.”

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