This fall, will Palestine become the newest member of the United Nations? As the opening of the UN General Assembly draws near, this question looms above the rest.
The answer may depend on the position of our government. If the United States uses its veto in the Security Council as promised, then Palestine’s full membership in the UN will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. In that case, the General Assembly may admit Palestine as a “non-member state,” a status held by the Vatican.
Palestine’s bid for UN membership has engendered many opposing reactions, with some believing that it could advance the cause of Palestinian human rights, while others think it could set it back. Get a variety of political perspectives from our website.
Whether you support or oppose this initiative, or are neutral toward it (the US Campaign takes no position–read more in our FAQ), there are a few things that we can all agree to:
Palestinians are entitled to all of their individual and national rights, including self-determination, freedom, justice and equality.
The biggest obstacle to Palestinians attaining these rights is U.S. diplomatic and military support for Israeli occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians (whether living under military occupation, as Israeli citizens, or as refugees denied their right of return to their homes).
The United States should not use its veto at the UN to shield Israel from accountability for its illegal policies and actions, nor should the United States sanction Palestinians for pursuing their long-denied rights.
Last month, we delivered to the State Department an open letter signed by more than 125 groups, including 30 national organizations, and petitions signed by more than 25,000 people urging the Obama Administration not to veto Palestine UN membership if the issue arises in the Security Council. National organizations CODEPINK, Grassroots International, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Just Foreign Policy contributed petition signatures to the overall count.
Yet the State Department refused to discuss its position with us, ignoring our concerns. (Learn more about the Obama Administration’s position in this essay by our National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner.) That’s why we must organize to exert more pressure and to make our voices heard more loudly.
Take to the street this month like many of our member organizations and individual activists are doing to protest U.S. diplomatic and military support of Israel.
On September 10, the North Texas Boycott, Divest, and Sanction of Israel Campaign will rally in Fort Worth to protest the potential U.S. veto in the Security Council.
On September 15, a coalition of dozens of New York-based organizations, many of which are members of the US Campaign, will hold a rally and march at the UN in support of Palestinian self-determination.
Also on that day, which coincides with the International Day of Democracy, activists around the country are planning demonstrations opposing U.S military aid to Israel and U.S. interference with the UN membership bid. So far, events are planned for Phoenix, AZ, San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, Urbana, IL, Omaha, NE, Pittsburgh, PA, and Austin, TX.
On September 16, several organizations are planning a demonstration at the federal building in Los Angeles to protest the threatened U.S. veto.
Wherever you are, take action this month to protest U.S. support for Israel’s denial of Palestinian human rights. During your action, you can educate and organize people in your community to end U.S. military aid to Israel by signing up for a packet with fliers, postcards, stickers, and more.
(US Campaign to END the Israeli occupation / Newsletter / 01.09.2011)