The United Nations and Palestine – A Missed Opportunity?

I’m sure everyone is aware that Palestine has applied for full member status in the United Nations.  At present, to the best of my understanding, this seems unlikely to happen.  Under current circumstances, it probably wouldn’t be helpful if it did.  But I can’t help wonder whether the UN is missing an opportunity here.

What if they were to offer full membership subject to the condition that the Palestinians accept a UN-negotiated treaty with Israel?  Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been unproductive, but negotiations between the UN and Israel need not be.  (Of course, the UN would first have to accept that the Green Line is not a particularly useful starting point, which might be politically unpalatable to many member nations.)

Any such treaty would be significantly more favorable to Israel than the Palestinian negotiators have ever been willing to consider.  They probably wouldn’t get East Jerusalem, and Israel wouldn’t be accepting the return of any refugees.  Even so, it would be a difficult offer to turn down when the prize is United Nations recognition of a Palestinian State.

Would this have worked?  Maybe not – but I don’t suppose we’ll ever know for sure.  I think it would have been worth a try.


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