Israel & US Fume As UN Votes To Elevate Palestine’s Status

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There were fireworks at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday as Israel tried to fight back against a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member.

The assembly adopted a new resolution which puts the ‘State of Palestine’ on the pathway to future full membership in a vote of 143 to 9, with the US and Israel on the ‘no’ side. The resolution recognizes Palestine as “qualified to join” and the resolution text was described as essentially a global survey on the open question of full membership.

The move formally recommends to the UN Security Council that it “reconsider the matter favorably.” Since 2012 Palestine has been a non-member observer state. But now the General Assembly “determines that the State of Palestine…should therefore be admitted to membership” and it “recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably,” according to the resolution text.

A few extra procedural rights were also granted by Friday’s vote: “The General Assembly resolution adopted on Friday does give the Palestinians some additional rights and privileges from September 2024 — like a seat among the UN members in the assembly hall — but they will not be granted a vote in the body,” Times of Israel writes.

Israel is of course fuming, and the below spectacle played out before the UN General Assembly, complete with an interesting prop…

Foreign Minister Israel Katz also chimed in, describing the upgrade in status of Palestinians in the UN a “prize for Hamas” in a statement released by his office.

“The absurd decision taken today at the UN General Assembly highlights the structural bias of the UN and the reasons why, under the leadership of UN Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres, it has turned itself into an irrelevant institution,” Katz said.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield agreed that it was unnecessary and does nothing to advance peace:

“Since the attacks of October 7, President Biden has been clear that sustainable peace in the region can only be achieved through a two-state solution, with Israel’s security guaranteed, where Israelis and Palestinians can one day live side by side with equal measures of freedom and dignity. It remains the US view that unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground will not advance this goal. The General Assembly resolution being debated today is no exception and so the United States will be voting “no” and encourages other Member States to do the same,” the US mission said.

“Efforts to advance this resolution do not change the reality that the Palestinian Authority does not currently meet the criteria for UN membership under the UN Charter,” she added.

In Europe, Spain and Ireland are the latest countries which are set to bestow recognition on a Palestinian state in a controversial move. The US has very consistently voted no when such efforts are presented at the UN and at the Security Council.

Below is a breakdown of Friday’s UNGA vote…

 

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