At her confirmation hearing by the Senate of the United States, on 8 August 2011, Wendy Sherman announced that the State Department would veto a Palestinian request for recognition of statehood should it reach the U.N. Security Council,

Ms. Sherman is counselor to the former Secretary of State and current NDI / NED Chairperson, Madeleine Albright. She has been designated new Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, which makes her the third-highest ranking official at Foggy Bottom.

Several states have voiced their intention to recognize a Palestinian state at the United Nations General Assembly in mid-September, in compliance with the old UN partition plan for Palestine, never implemented in 60 years. However, such recognition would occur without the borders of the new state having been defined, and without the ability to exercise its sovereign prerogatives.

In Palestine itself, it is widely feared that this nominal recognition will in fact lead to the abrogation of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to return to their land, and to transforming the Palestinian territories into Bantustans.

For his part, President Barack Obama denounced the possible recognition as an attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel.

In the final analysis, it is not clear in what capacity the Security Council would have to decide on the recognition of a state, a matter which is solely within the competence of the General Assembly.