Rabbi Lerner, Adam Lebor, Ban KI Moon, Martti Ahtasari, Reza Aslan, and I have written in favor of YES to Palestine. There are few who are against. My Video appeal : "President Obama, you must vote now for Palestinian Statehood" will be released on YouTube tonite and will be posted at www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com
Palestine: Vote-counting on the Security CouncilDavid Bosco, Friday, September 16, 2011 - 5:08 PM
The Palestinian leadership has now that they will seek full UN membership through the Security Council (rather than opting for something less by going directly to to the General Assembly). The ultimate outcome here is not in doubt: if necessary, the United States will use its veto. But it may not come to a veto. If the Palestinians cannot muster nine votes, the 15-member Council cannot act. It's very possible that their supporters will at that point choose not to introduce a formal resolution. From a political perspective, the distinction between a resolution that fails to gain nine votes and one vetoed by the United States is significant, and the United States undoubtedly will be pulling out the diplomatic stops to see that the Palestinians do not muster the magic nine votes.
Here's my current assessment of where the current Council members stand:
Bosnia and Hercegovina: Very likely to support Palestinian membership.
Brazil: Likely to support membership.
China: Likely to support membership.
Colombia: On the fence.
France: On the fence.
Gabon: On the fence.
Germany: Unlikely to support. Often supportive of Israel.
India: Likely to support membership.
Lebanon: Almost certain to support membership.
Nigeria: Likely to support.
Portugal: On the fence.
Russia: Likely to support membership.
South Africa: Likely to support membership
United Kingdom: On the fence.
United States: will not support membership.
That leaves eight members who are likely to support, five who are probably on the fence, one likely to oppose, and one certain to oppose. As one Security Council diplomat told me this afternoon, this is shaping up to be a very close call. There are two quite important considerations. First, Council members need not take a position; abstention is an option, and one that will work against the Palestinians and their supporters, who need affirmative votes to force a U.S. veto. Second, the European Union (which accounts for four votes) may be in a decisive position if it adopts a common position. Finally, it is well documented that foreign aid has been deployed in the past to sway Council votes. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone in the State Department is hurriedly checking on Gabon's aid package to see what leverage might exist.