The two-state compromise drives arguments for and against Palestine’s UN membership

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Following a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres (L) and President of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas arrive for a photo opportunity prior to a meeting at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City. (credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

By Ramona Wadi |  Middle East Monitor | Sept 1, 2022

“It would be hard to explain that in addition to being reluctant to hold Israel accountable for destroying the two-state solution before our eyes, you would also oppose a positive way that contributes to saving the two-state solution, which is the official policy of the United States,”
— Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN

The Palestinian Authority is once again seeking full membership of the UN, and the US has already expressed its opposition. The two-state compromise continues to form the premise for the arguments both for and against UN membership, as presented by the PA and the US respectively. However, the PA’s political decision-making is so fragmented, that its arguments in favour of the two-state compromise only strengthen those within the international community, and in this case the US, who oppose Palestine becoming a full UN member state.

Relying solely on two-state diplomacy, a US State Department spokesperson quoted by Axios said: “The only realistic path to a comprehensive and lasting peace is through direct negotiations between the parties. There are no shortcuts to Palestinian statehood outside direct negotiations with Israel.” According to Axios, the US has already warned that it will veto the proposed statehood at the UN Security Council.

Full UN membership would strengthen Palestine’s statehood recognition within the international community, which the US says should not precede the two-state compromise. However, the US has also adopted Israel’s narrative that the time is not right to embark upon negotiations, preferring to speak vaguely about political horizons and hope, even as the ongoing expansion of illegal Israeli settlements confirm the demise of the two-state hypothesis which the Middle East Quartet declared to be obsolete in 2016.

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