Tuesday, 1 November 2011
a small step on the path to nationhood
if only this was a clip of the actual UN agreeing to accept palestinian nationhood. still it's something. it's democracy, without veto. which is what we should expect from the UN as a whole. it seems pointless to me that certain countries of the west are so keen to forcefully and violently bring democracy to other countries in the world, but are quite happy themselves to participate in an institution where they have an undemocratic veto power.
american foreign policy on this issue is so incredibly appalling that i don't know where to start. cutting their funding to unesco because they don't like the outcome of a democratic vote? the american administration is showing (yet again) that it doesn't, in practice, care for democracy. at least the other countries who chose to abstain or to vote against accept that they lost the vote. if a country can't even do that, how can it even begin to act as if it's some kind of champion for democracy.
i understand that the administration is bound by laws passed in 1990 & 1994 (the latter in the clinton era?), but there's not even an attempt to change these laws. both parties have condemned the vote. that last just sickens me - all the manoeuvering to try to even let people have a say on this issue is, again, counter to everything that democracy stands for.
for the palestinians, this is a crumb though a significant one. interesting to see that both china and india supported the move. india has a historical position of recognising palestine & palestinian struggles. mahatma gandhi was a strong supporter of palestinian rights. in recent years, there had been a change from that position so i'm really heartened to see a positive vote by india on this one.
also great is the labour party's policy of supporting the palestinian bid for UN recognition. it's a brave and clear statement:
"The United States President, Barack Obama, recognises that Palestinians deserve their own state and that for its part, Israel deserves recognition and normal relations with its neighbours.
"The Labour Party agrees with that, but the United States' intention to veto the Palestinian Authority's application for membership at the Security Council will not advance better international relations in our view," said Maryan Street.
national is typically refusing to commit. what they're waiting for, i don't know. either you support a people's right to self-determination and self-government or you don't. it's not that difficult.