Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

The US at the UN: Peacebreaker at a place for peacemakers?

Tue 30 Apr 2024 | 05:06 PM
Xin Ping

"Why do American politicians who advocate for the two-state solution hesitate to support the actual establishment of a Palestinian state?"

"A setback to achieving peace in the Middle East."

"The US is a war-monger."


The US has faced considerable criticism on social media after exercising its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to sink Palestine's bid for full United Nations membership. Its veto once again thwarted the long-held aspirations of the Palestinian people. Amid escalating conflict in Gaza, the US, instead of fulfilling its expected role, has obstructed in every possible way the justified demands of the Palestinians to join the UN family and enjoy their inalienable right. The one-sided policy of the US has come under heavy criticism for becoming the most formidable hindrance to the peace process in Gaza.

It has been a decades-long dream of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state. After failing to halt the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory through diplomatic channels, the Palestinian authority shifted its focus to obtaining UN membership in 2011. This strategic move culminated in a formal application to the UN within the same year. However, the US spearheaded opposition to this request, resulting in Palestine being granted only a "non-member observer State" status with no voting privileges.

Since the outbreak of the current round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in October 2023, the Palestinian authority has intensified its pursuit of full UN membership to secure broad international support and to pressure Israel into halting its offensive in Gaza. Many nations believe that full membership for Palestine would confer upon it a status equal to that of Israel, thereby facilitating the conditions necessary for Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. Nevertheless, the US veto has once again dashed the hopes of the Palestinian people and the collective efforts of the global community.

Every nation that genuinely endorses a two-state solution should advocate for Palestine's full UN membership. Why are American politicians, who often vocalize their commitment to this solution, not doing what they are saying?

In pursuit of "regional stability" in the Middle East and to meet domestic political objectives, the US has historically aligned closely with Israel. Their special relationship is evident in the US stance on Israel's opposition to Palestinian efforts to gain full UN membership. The US hopes to ensure that all resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict come under its own guidance. Obviously, the move by Palestine to join the UN would diminish US influence in the peace process.

The veto seemed so out of place when the world is witnessing the severe humanitarian crisis and rising casualties in the Gaza Strip: as of press time, Israeli military operations in the region had resulted in the loss of over 34,000 Palestinian lives and about 77,000 injured. At this critical moment, the US has not only failed to provide adequate assistance to the vulnerable Palestinians, but also consistently supplied Israel with weapons and equipment and vetoed more than one Security Council resolutions calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The actions by the US underscore its role as an impediment to peace in both international and regional arenas.

At a time when the spillover effects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict continue to undermine peace and security in the Middle East, especially when a new vicious circle of retaliation began between Israel and Iran, it is more urgent than ever to grant Palestine full membership in the UN and move further toward a two-state solution, addressing the root cause for regional turmoil. This depends on joint efforts by each and every UN member, who ought to know that no single power has the authority to veto the future of the Palestinian people.