Though the New York Times reported the Israeli “threats” 14 November 2012, even characterizing them at one point as “threats”; their significance has been ignored. First the threats:
“Israel’s Foreign Ministry has warned foreign governments that a successful Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations this month could lead Israel to cancel the Oslo peace accords and, possibly, to oust President Mahmoud Abbas and dismantle his Palestinian Authority, according to official documents made available to reporters on Wednesday.”
“A second document”, the NYT article continued, “was more explicit”:
“A recognition of Palestinian statehood by the United Nations, it stated, would leave Israel no alternative but to topple ‘the government of Abu Mazen,’ referring to Mr. Abbas by his nickname. Any softer reaction would be interpreted as ‘raising a white flag,’ it said.”
This is the same Mahmoud Abbas, who according to Dina Jadallah,
“is paid handsomely for his role: he makes one million dollars a month, has personal Jordanian accounts of more than $500 million, each, of Palestinian taxpayer money (according to Inlight Press), in addition to more perks for himself and his family.”
So, Abbas is at least a billionnaire, if perhaps just barely—paid by someone to manage the affairs of the Palestinian people in that someone’s favor. But even Abbas, apparently, can no longer stem the tide toward Palestinian statehood and is being driven by events. Could there be anything worse than an out-of-control billionnaire?
So, what is all the fuss about? Well, presently for UN General Assembly purposes, “Palestine” is classified as a “Non-member,” “Other Entity,” with “Permanent Observer” status. Clear enough, huh?
From the “Permanent Observers” page of the UN website:
Non-member States and Entities
[Non-member state, the HOLY SEE (“the Vatican,” or “Vatican City”)].
Other entities having received a standing invitation to participate as observers in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly and are maintaining permanent offices at Headquarters
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations
115 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021
Telephone: (212) 288-8500”
Thus, Palestine and the Holy See are already “Permanent Observers.” But in addition to being a “Permanent Observer,” the Holy See is also a “Non-member State.” What advantages does a “Non-member State” have over a mere “Other Entity”?
Well, a “Non-member State” has the ability to invoke, in its own right, the jurisdiction of either the UN General Assembly or of the UN Security Council:
“UNITED NATIONS CHARTER
Chapter VI: Pacific Settlement of Disputes
(2). A state which is not a Member of the United Nations may bring to the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly any dispute to which it is a party if it accepts in advance, for the purposes of the dispute, the obligations of pacific settlement provided in the present Charter.”
In response to an application by Palestine, for recognition as a “Non-member State,” so that Palestine can among other things, invoke the UN’s jurisdiction to settle peacefully disputes between states; the State of Israel “threatens” to “topple the government” or to “dismantle” the “Palestinian Authority”!
What would it mean to “topple the government” of the United States or to “dismantle” it; and who would die in the attempt, whether successful or unsuccessful?
The Israeli “threats” create a significant external constraint upon the UN General Assembly’s freedom of action. If the General Assembly recognizes Palestine as a “Non-member state”; Israel may at once “topple the government” or “dismantle” the “Palestinian Authority,” thereby strangling the infant state in its crib.
The power of an assembly to convene and to act implies a right of self-protection—in fact, it implies all powers necessary to provide for the assembly’s safety and for the undisturbed transaction of its business.
Article 21 of the UN Charter recognizes the General Assembly’s inherent rule-making power. The General Assembly has used that rule-making power to vest its president with, “complete control of the proceedings at any meeting and over the maintenance of order thereat”—subject of course, to the whole body of the General Assembly’s rules. [G.A. Rule 35, Par. 1].
Threats to an assembly’s petitioners, whether express or implied, have been treated as highly disorderly and so have been guarded against from earliest times. For example, when petitioners to the Stuart parliaments complained of abuses in public offices or corruption of officeholders, their signatures were removed from their petitions after submission—literally torn off—so they would not be subject to reprisals by the very offenders against whom they had complained.
While not proposing to instruct the president of the UN General Assembly on his duty; I do believe Israel should be required to clarify its position, at a meeting, as to what it will do—if the General Assembly recognizes Palestine as a “Non-member State.”
BRUCE TYLER WICK is a lawyer and registered parliamentarian, who practices mainly in northeast Ohio.
Attorney Wick’s work with serving the military and with veterans has involved principally criminal defense and appeals; clemency, parole and administrative matters; and VA claims.
A student of legal history in the tradition of his teacher, Samuel Sonnenfield, Attorney Wick claims first and exclusive authority for discovering that Ohio’s Constitutional Convention of 1802 granted the right to vote to black men over 21. That advance, though epochal, was quickly taken away by fraud.