J'lem: 130 UN Members Will Support Palestinian State

Over 130 of the 192 member states of the United Nations are expected to support the establishment of a Palestinian state if it is brought up for a vote by the General Assembly this coming September. That is the view of diplomatic experts in Israel, who explain, however, that these are preliminary assessments, in the absence of a draft resolution and after only initial contacts regarding the vote. If the draft resolution text is moderate, the number of states supporting it is likely to reach about 170.

Already in December 1988, 104 countries supported a resolution recognizing the declaration of a Palestinian state that was put forward by PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the Palestinian National Council a month earlier in Algiers. In December 2008 the UN General Assembly ratified the Palestinians' right to establish a state.

Israel has made it unequivocally clear that it opposes a unilateral declaration of the establishment of a Palestinian state. Although in his Bar-Ilan speech Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recognized the right to establish such an entity alongside the State of Israel, Jerusalem's position is that establishment of the state should be done with the full coordination of and at the conclusion of negotiations with Israel.

But in the Israeli political arena there are some who support immediate Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state. Some MKs, including Isaac Herzog (Labor ) and Shaul Mofaz (Kadima ), have announced that they support such recognition along with the start of immediate negotiations regarding its borders. In that way the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be transformed from one embodying the demand to establish a state to a border dispute between two countries.

Last January the Palestinian Authority reaped considerable success from its diplomatic efforts during the previous year: One after another, the countries of South America announced their support for a Palestinian state. Israel failed in its management of the crisis and was unable to persuade the countries' leaders not to support the unilateral initiative, but instead to enable the establishment of the Palestinian state only as part of a peace agreement between the PA and Israel. Israeli diplomats expressed disappointment this past year at the decision by the various countries to support the unilateral establishment of a Palestinian state, but had difficulty persuading them of the justice of the Israeli stance.

The Palestinians began about a year ago with their attempt to receive recognition for a state from the Latin American countries, in the wake of the stagnation in the peace process and in order to pressure Israel.