James Arbuthnot MP is Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel and of the Defence Select Committee.
Next week, the United Nations Security Council will vote on a resolution to grant ‘Palestine’ full membership. It is now time for the international community to decide whether to support the Palestinians unilateral diplomatic strategy. The UK holds an important vote in the Security Council and how we use it will certainly have ramifications on the future of the peace process and what future role we intend to play in creating peace in the region.
To date, the Palestinian strategy has been to secure enough support in the Security Council to win an outright majority. Failing this, they are aiming to trigger a US veto and thereby win a ‘moral majority’ in the Security Council before moving the vote to the General Assembly where an outright win on ‘non-member’ statehood would be guaranteed.
The Palestinians currently have eight Security Council votes in the bag - Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Gabon and Nigeria –just shy of the nine votes needed for a win. The United States has announced its intention to vote against the resolution, labelling it a distraction from the goal of restarting negotiations between the parties. Crucially, Europe has become the swing vote in this debate.