Palestine‘s proposed bid for full UN statehood recognition at the end of this week could spark a major international diplomatic crisis, with the US and Israel pushing hard to block the move but China, Russia and now India in favour.
India has traditionally been sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and was the first non-Arab state to officially recognise Palestine back in the late 1980’s. But the upcoming push for full recognition is likely to be the trickiest issue since India ascended to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) earlier this year.
The Palestinians claim that more than 130 countries support their bid. Unfortunately, the US is vehemently opposed and has a veto, which means that the Palestinian bid is doomed from the start. Nevertheless, it sets up an interesting conflict between the ‘old’ superpowers such as the US (and the UK) and the new superpowers such as China and India.
This disagreement over Palestine will not cause an immediate crisis, but might indicate possible future tensions, particularly over the use of veto powers by countries such as the US. At present, the only countries with these veto powers are the US, China, France, Russia and the UK. The Palestinian issue might, however, lead to questions about how the veto is used by member states.