Analysts, media pundits, and lobbyists often appear to have forgotten that the question of Palestine predates the establishment of the UN. Lacking in the coverage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is a comprehensive understanding of the myriad ways that the UN and its affiliate agencies have worked to redress Palestinian grievances, as well as an awareness of the many roadblocks and challenges it has thrown up to Palestinian needs and demands.
Most people in the United States are far more likely to hear accusations that the UN is an anti-Semitic organization and that the United States has betrayed Israel. Yet, as this month’s Special Focus, “Palestine at the United Nations,” reveals, Resolution 2334’s passage, and the subsequent international reactions – including a speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Middle East peace – fall far short of guaranteeing basic rights, equality, and justice to the Palestinian people. Rather, the question of Palestine has been profoundly defined by UN gridlock resulting from U.S. vetoes, as well as the UN’s inability to enforce a host of resolutions that date back to 1948. Will Resolution 2334 be an exception to this trend?