NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The United Nations Security Council took the first steps in considering the Palestinian’s request for statehood, meeting behind closed doors on Monday on the controversial bid.
The arm twisting has begun.
Just before the Security Council met, Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer of the Palestinian Authority, met the press to claim that 131 of the 195 UN member states support Palestinian statehood.
“We believe that Palestine has the right, the natural, historic and legal right, to join the community of nations as a full member,” Mansour said.
The Palestinians began their campaign for statehood in earnest Monday, saying just before the Security Council met that it would be wrong for the United States to veto its application.
“It is not congruent with the speech of President Barack Obama, who gave us a speech in which he praised the Arab spring immensely,” Mansour said. “I believe that the argument of anyone in opposing us for membership in the Security Council is a very week argument.”
But the Palestinians weren’t the only ones trying to influence the Security Council decision.
“I think the Palestinians are trying to get away without negotiating. They are trying to get a state to continue the conflict with Israel rather than to end it,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
But diplomats weren’t the only ones trying to influence the Security Council. A group of Jewish leaders and politicians were lobbying against Palestinian statehood.
“We say yes to peace, peace achieved by direct bilateral negotiations between the parties of the conflict. Peace manifesting itself in two states for two peoples,” Michael Miller said.
“The latest theatrics at the UN General Assembly is something we must stand against, a very harmful distraction from achieving true peace and stability in Israel and with the Palestinian people,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said.
But Palestinians don’t see it that way. They say they can’t get a fair shake at the bargaining table and are looking for a new forum.
“The Palestinians are looking for a forum where they feel they can have a fair negotiation with the Israelis through a platform that is even-keeled for anyone in the world,” said Zead Ramadan, the president of CAIR New York.
It’s unclear how long the Security Council will take to consider the Palestinians’ proposal.
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