Herb Keinon
The Jerusalem Post (Analysis)
September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli envoy to UN says Portugal undecided on resolution vote, key to US efforts to vote down bid without using veto.

Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor on Monday said that it was still unclear if the UN Security Council would vote to recognize a Palestinian state because Portugal remained undecided on the issue.

The Palestinian resolution must muster support from at least nine of the fifteen countries on the Security Council in order to pass. Among the countries still in play on the Security Council, according to Israeli officials, are Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon and Nigeria.

The countries who are expected to vote for the resolution are India, Brazil, South Africa, Lebanon, China and Russia.

The Palestinian resolution will fail if one of the five permanent members – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – casts its veto and votes against the resolution.

However, in an interview with Israel Radio, Prosor said that the US was working to avoid having to use its veto in the UN Security Council by getting seven states on the 15-member body to either vote against or abstain on the statehood resolution.

Should the resolution fail to pass the Security Council, it would easily pass the General Assembly, according to Prosor. However, he added that a General assembly resolution would not grant the Palestinians a state, but rather an upgrade in status that would not change anything on the ground.

Prosor warned that raised expectations among the Palestinians as a result of the statehood gambit would not lead to peace, but rather to violence. He reiterated the Israel position that direct negotiations were the only way to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The Israeli envoy stated that it was important that Jerusalem win the support of influential nations, in order to emphasize to the Palestinians that they would be better off returning to the negotiating table.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.


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