Palestine’s new position as a non-member state at the United Nations

BZU Ibrahim Abu-Lughod
Institute of International Studies sponsored a forum on December 11, 2012
exploring the significance of Palestinersquo;s new position as a non-member state at
the United Nations.

In his opening address, the Institutersquo;s Director Abdulkarim Barghouti emphasized the Institutersquo;s desire to
engage such issues of national interest and the importance of dialogue, mutual respect for ideas, and knowledge based on information.



Dean of the Faculty of
Law and Public Administration Asem Khalil and Professor of Strategic Studies Husam Zomlot spoke at
the event. Zomlot said that there are three different schools of
thought about the change at the United Nations. He named them the ldquo;optimistic
school,rdquo;nbsp; ldquo;the overly pessimistic school,rdquo;
and what he said was the dominant school of thought, the ldquo;critical schoolrdquo; that
seeks to fully understand the issues and study their strengths and weaknesses.

also spoke of the obstacles faced by
the Palestinian Authority, which have contributed to its vulnerability since its establishment.
Among these have been achieving recognition, the absence of political and national
references, and the standing political and economic
agreements that have contributed to transforming the Palestinian Authority
from the beginnings of the awaited state
into that same statersquo;s burden, Zomlot noted. Moreover, Israel's rejection of the idea of a
Palestinian state in negotiations and agreements,
and maximization of the ldquo;self-rulerdquo; framework has contributed
to declining support for the Palestinian
Authority from both the public and involved parties.

Khalil, on the other
hand, offered his personal take on the request for statehood at the United
Nations. He opposes the bid, he said, while acknowledging that his view is not
based on scientific reasoning, but rather the questions raised by many Palestinians.

He maintained that this
state doesnrsquo;t represent the hopes of the Palestinian Authority. The primary Palestinian
goal is to free Palestine of the occupation, he said, and the requested
statehood falls short of this goal.

ldquo;I donrsquo;t believe that
going to the UN will help legally in establishing a full-member state,rdquo; he
said, ldquo;rather itrsquo;s just a process that has been given more attention that it
deserves--a process to distract the masses.rdquo;

Khalil expressed his
worries that the statehood bid would distract from the critical issues of the
fate of the Palestinian refugees, the holding of various citizenships and
passports, and the status of the Palestinian resistance.