David in Goliath’s citadel: Mobilizing the Security Council’s normative power for Palestine.
This article reviews the remarkable success of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in alliance with the Non-Aligned Movement in appropriating the Security Council’s normative power to transform the global understanding of the Israel–Arab conflict. We feature the alliance’s submission of multiple declaratory resolutions from late 1967 through 1980, which condemned Israel’s occupation policies, declared all of the territories conquered in the 1967 war as occupied, and endorsed a Palestinian state. Collectively, these resolutions, including the vetoed ones, legitimized a new consensus whereby Palestinian statehood became regarded as indispensable for a just resolution, while Israel’s continued control over the occupied territories became viewed as the primary obstacle, with full withdrawal expected. This consensus endures despite concerted Israeli–US efforts to undermine it. Besides its appeal to scholars of Israel–Palestine, the study contributes fresh insights into the Security Council’s normative authority and the influence of non-powerful, non-Western actors. We explain the dynamics by which these actors appropriate the Security Council’s normative influence, through its declaratory resolutions, to boost broader advocacy campaigns. Specifically, we highlight anti-colonial normative framing — featuring self-determination and territorial integrity — coalition building, and trapping. The first two dynamics generate powerful political and normative pressure, which, in turn, traps uncommitted states into supporting the cause so as to avoid isolation and the appearance of normative hypocrisy. By featuring the Non-Aligned Movement and the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the primary agents and anticolonial values as the defining norms, we present a rarely examined counter-trajectory of norm dissemination in what is thought to be the least receptive international forum.
Graubart, J. & Jimenez-Bacardi, A. (2016). David in Goliath’s citadel: Mobilizing the Security Council’s normative power for Palestine. European Journal of International Relations, 22, 24-48. doi: 10.1177/1354066115571762
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