By Francis A. Boyle, Information Clearing House – 8 June 2011
On November 15, 1988 the Palestine National Council (P.N.C.) meeting in Algiers proclaimed the Palestinian Declaration of Independence that created the independent state of Palestine. Today the State of Palestine is bilaterally recognized de jure by about 130 states. Palestine has de facto diplomatic recognition from most states of Europe. It was only massive political pressure applied by the U.S. government that prevented European states from according de jure diplomatic recognition to Palestine.
Palestine is a member state of the League of Arab States and of the Organization of Islamic Conference (O.I.C). When the International Court of Justice in The Hague—the World Court of the United Nations System—conducted its legal proceedings on Israel’s apartheid wall on the West Bank, it invited the State of Palestine to participate in the proceedings. In other words, the International Court of Justice recognized the State of Palestine.
Palestine has Observer State Status with the United Nations Organization, and basically all the rights of a U.N. Member State except the right to vote. Effectively, Palestine has de facto U.N. Membership. The only thing keeping Palestine from de jure U.N. Membership is the implicit threat of a veto at the U.N. Security Council by the United States, which is clearly illegal because it would violate a solemn and binding pledge given by the United States not to veto States applying for U.N. Membership. Someday, Palestine shall become a full-fledged U.N. Member State.
The votes are there already in the U.N. General Assembly to admit Palestine pursuant to the terms of its Uniting for Peace Resolution (1950). It is the U.N. General Assembly that admits a Member State, not the Security Council. Obama’s veto at the Security Council can be circumvented by the General Assembly acting under the Uniting for Peace Resolution to admit Palestine as a U.N Member State in September.
Professor Francis A. Boyle served as Legal Advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat on the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, as well as to the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations from 1991 to 1993, where he drafted the Palestinian counter-offer to the now defunct Oslo Agreement. His books include “Palestine, Palestinians and International Law” (2003), and “The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law” (2010).