Podcast – Middle East Analysis looks at bid for Palestinian Statehood

Dr Harry Hagopian

Dr Harry Hagopian

Palestinian authorities are bidding to gain international recognition of Statehood at the United Nations in New York. The US favours direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine and has already expressed serious reservations with Secretary of State Clinton saying "the route [to peace] lies in Jerusalem and Ramallah not in New York".

In a special Middle East Analysis, Dr Harry Hagopian looks at these issues. He argues that despite the media focus on a possible US veto, there are other obstacles to tackle:

"Analysts are talking about the American veto but there's another way to scupper this initiative at the United Nations Security Council. That is by making sure that it doesn't get the nine out of fifteen votes of the members. If the Americans and some of the Europeans ensure that the application does not have nine supporting votes out of the fifteen at the Security Council, then it no longer needs an American veto because it will have already been scuppered."

Dr Hagopian suggests that, when it comes to achieving a peaceful solution for Israel and Palestine, the real action may take place around a different table to those at the UN: "I'm not yet 100% sure that this is done and dusted and that the Palestinian leadership has decided that the UN is the only way forward. I think they are upping the ante - applying pressure - but they would probably be willing to change their minds...”

"If the United Nations, Russia, the European Union and the US, were to come out with a credible, practical, feasible roadmap to force the Israeli hand into negotiating with the Palestinians for a settlement, then I believe the Palestinians would desist from going the UN way and would go with negotiations."

Dr Hagopian is an international lawyer and consultant to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales on the Middle East. He's also a former Assistant General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches.

Negotiations on Palestinian Statehood www.catholicchurch.org.uk/content/download/8737/59566/file/palestinian-negotiations-clip.mp3

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