The UN General Assembly has voted to upgrade Palestinians’ diplomatic status to a “non-member observer state,” thus implicitly recognizing a Palestinian state. This comes despite strong opposition from the US and Israel.
The Palestinian bid has been upheld with 138 votes in favor, 9 against and 41 abstentions.
Addressing the General Assembly on Thursday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the historic vote was the last chance to save the two-state solution. He also told the meeting that it “is being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine.”
In his speech Abbas mentioned Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza that took place this month and stressed that the Palestinians would accept "no less than the independence of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital."
The Israeli government has described Abbas’s speech, which was met with a standing ovation at the General Assembly, as “defamatory and venomous.”"The world watched a defamatory and venomous speech that was full of mendacious propaganda against the IDF (army) and the citizens of Israel," the Israeli PM’s office said in a statement.
Israeli UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, warned the General Assembly that “the Palestinians are turning their backs on peace.''
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the parties to renew their commitment to negotiating a peace deal.
However the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said the UN's vote on the Palestinians’ status places further obstacles in the path of peace. "Today's grand pronouncements will soon fade and the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little has changed," she told the assembly with a somber voice. "This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state."
The vote could be seen as an embarrassing defeat for Washington, which has always been a staunch ally of Israel.
The other day I was watching a news program, you know like I am always, and one of the commentators mentioned that while it may seem to appear that America has always presented itself as a neutral arbitrator concerning the conflict that exists between the Palestinians and Israelis, such is not the case.
In fact the United State's unabashed support for all things Israeli, has made them favor Israel over the Palestinians is virtually ALL negotiations going back to the birth of Israel itself.
The effect of that is dramatically illustrated in the maps below.
In terms of substantive gains, it will assist a Palestinian attempt to join the International Criminal Court and to be able to ask the body to investigate acts committed by Israel as potential war crimes.
This is going to make it harder for the Israelis to dismiss them as simply a "terrorist network" and provide Palestine with the opportunity to present their case on a more equal footing.
To quote Joe Biden, it is "kind of a big fucking deal." Even if Israel and America refuse to publicly recognize it as such.