Borrell Asserts Israel Cannot Veto Palestinian Self-Determination

On Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell emphasized that Israel does not possess the authority to “veto” Palestinian statehood. This statement comes in the midst of a heated debate between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the international community regarding the post-Gaza war scenario.

Borrell conveyed to reporters during a press conference in Brussels, “Israel cannot hold a veto right over the self-determination of the Palestinian people.” He underscored that the right to self-determination, acknowledged multiple times by the United Nations, cannot be subject to a veto.

As Netanyahu works to strengthen political backing, particularly on the right where support has been diminishing, his recent stance against Palestinian statehood has become increasingly explicit. Despite the insistence of the United States, the EU, and moderate Arab nations on a two-state resolution post-war, the prime minister remains resolute in his opposition.

Netanyahu underscores the perceived existential risk to Israel, emphasizing the critical role of IDF security in both Gaza and the West Bank. The international community contends that these territories should be integral to the eventual borders of a Palestinian state.

Borrell presented the EU’s 27 foreign ministers with a draft of a peace plan on Tuesday, advocating for the bloc’s adoption and utilization as a roadmap for implementing a two-state solution. The proposal is grounded in the pre-1967 lines, designating eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. The plan emphasizes the initiation of an international peace process to kickstart the proposed framework.

Vocal in expressing disapproval of Israel

He has been vocal in criticizing Israel’s actions in the Gaza war, suggesting that the international community may need to consider imposing a two-state resolution to the conflict.

Borrell emphasized the need to shift from discussing a “peace process” to actively implementing the two-state solution. While historically the US and the EU maintained that recognition of Palestinian statehood should follow a final status agreement, the Palestinian Authority, in the absence of progress, has argued for unilateral statehood recognition over the past decade.

During a meeting with EU foreign ministers in New York, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki called on the Security Council to recognize “Palestine” as a UN member state. Malki presented two paths—one leading to Palestinian freedom and the other perpetuating endless conflict in the region. He asserted that Israel should dispel the illusion that continued occupation can lead to regional peace.

Malki pointed out that just as the Palestinians were not granted a ‘veto’ right over Israel’s admission to the UN 75 years ago, Israel does not have a veto right over the admission of the State of Palestine today.

Responding, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, reminded the Security Council that the IDF withdrew from Gaza in 2005. He highlighted the threat posed by Hamas, referencing their promise to repeat the October 7 attack. Erdan questioned the consequences of a ceasefire before dealing with Hamas, asserting that it would allow the group to regroup, rearm, and launch another attack.

Erdan pointed out the contradiction, saying, “Calling for a ceasefire and proposing a solution to the conflict simultaneously is a complete oxymoron. It’s impossible to have both. Given that Hamas aims to annihilate Israel, supporting a position that allows Hamas to remain in power contradicts any genuine desire for a resolution to the conflict.”

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