From the NEW YORK TIMES, Thursday, November 3, 2011, by NEIL MacFARQUHAR:
The Palestinian bid for membership at the United Nations, which was doomed from the start by the threat of a U.S. veto, moved another notch closer to rejection Thursday at the Security Council, diplomats said.
The council's membership committee met in private, with member states laying out their individual positions on the Palestinians' request, said the diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The membership committee is trying to produce a report by Tuesday, and indications are that the group will be unable to reach a consensus.
The report is likely to be a dry document that says some committee members support the Palestinians' bid and others oppose it. A vote to forward the report to the General Assembly will probably take place Nov. 11, diplomats said.
But a vote on the membership request itself — which was intended by the Palestinians to represent international recognition of statehood — might even be skipped if none of the 15 Security Council members demands one.
It seems unlikely that the Palestinians will be able to muster the nine votes needed to approve the membership resolution, which would allow the U.S. to avoid a veto.
Admission to the U.N. as a full member state requires a recommendation from the 15-member Security Council, with a majority of nine votes and no veto from the five permanent members, including the U.S. A submission then would go to the General Assembly, where approval would require a two-thirds vote of the 193 members.
Some European nations that might have been expected to support the Palestinian bid since have said they would abstain, including France and Bosnia, diplomats said.