ONTD Political


6:34 pm - 11/29/2012
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday endorsed an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.

The resolution elevates their status from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state," the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.

Its leaders had been working with dozens of supporting nations to develop a formal draft, enlisting the backing of European countries such as France and Spain.

The vote was 138 delegates in favor of the measure, nine against and 41 abstentions, including Germany.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the move, which many call symbolic, represents a "last chance to save the two-state solution."

It comes on the heels of an eight-day conflict that raged between Israel and Hamas fighters, where a series of airstrikes and rocket launches drew international attention and threatened regional stability.

"We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the state that must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine," he said.

But Israel's U.N. ambassador Ron Prosor said the move largely ignores the specifics of longstanding issues, such as settlements in disputed lands, and cannot substitute for direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

This resolution "doesn't pursue peace," Prosor said, criticizing Abbas for being unable to represent the Gaza Strip, where a Hamas-controlled government presides.

"It pushes it backwards," he said.

The effort stalled last year when it became apparent that the bid could not get the necessary support in the Security Council. Observer state status does not require Security Council approval, unlike full membership recognition.

The observer status resolution needs only a majority of the U.N.'s 193 members to approve.

The United States and Israel have remained steadfast in their opposition, saying the move will not advance the cause of Middle East peace.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said American leaders could not support a measure that circumvents direct talks and cautioned that Thursday's decision did "not establish Palestine as a state."

Rice urged both sides to the resume direct negotiations without preconditions.

"Israel is prepared to live in peace with the Palestinian state," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday. "But for peace to endure, Israel's security must be protected, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all."

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev called the resolution "political theater."

But Palestinian leaders have said they had the right to go to the U.N. because Israel failed to comply with agreements signed more than two decades ago.

"It's about a contract. Our contract is that in five years, we should have concluded the treaty of peace and all core issues. This did not happen, and we're talking about 20 years later. And going to the U.N. is not a unilateral step," Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said in September.

The last round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was in 2010.

Erakat said the new status would eliminate Israeli justifications for building settlements in the disputed areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

But Israeli officials disagreed.

"No decision by the U.N. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel," Netanyahu said.

chaya 30th-Nov-2012 03:19 am (UTC)
the new status would eliminate Israeli justifications for building settlements in the disputed areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank

Is it naive to be cautiously optimistic?
the_glow_worm 30th-Nov-2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Probably, but I'm right there with you.
natyanayaki 30th-Nov-2012 03:33 am (UTC)
I want to be happy, I want to be excited...but...ugh. It's hard to believe that anything will change.

""No decision by the U.N. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel," Netanyahu said."

I'm all for Israel, and I'm all for Israel remaining as is...it's been 65 years. But I always wonder, if that logic is fair to use regarding Jews and the area now known as Israel, can the same type of logic be used by all Homo sapiens and the horn of Africa? Personally, I consider that logic flawed and ridiculous in either circumstance, but I wonder how the people who use that logic would react.

Edited at 2012-11-30 03:36 am (UTC)
liliaeth 30th-Nov-2012 03:59 am (UTC)
You know, whenever Israel claims their right to steal people's lands because they once lived their first, I keep thinking how the US would react if the world responded to that by returning the right to US lands to the native Americans who were there first and therefore should have all rights to any and all lands in the United States. In other words, kick out everyone who isn't native American.
teacoat 30th-Nov-2012 03:34 am (UTC)
OH WOW. I got emails from NPR and the NYT about this and both times I read "Pakistan" instead of "Palestine." This makes a lot more sense now.

Also, lol @ that last line, and good for Palestine. I hope this leads to a real two-state solution.
chaya 30th-Nov-2012 03:54 pm (UTC)
Lol. Maybe NPR and NYT are doing a 1950's timewarp!
darkanddusty 30th-Nov-2012 03:40 am (UTC)
Is there like a For Dummies version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? I'm okay with getting at least the basics of most current affairs, but this one continues to totally confuse me.
quixotic_coffee 30th-Nov-2012 04:06 am (UTC)
I don't know how to reply with a wikipedia link without looking like an ass. If your only source is wikipedia that's kind of bad, but it's a decent starting point. If you meant actual books then maybe somehow else will answer. People have been asking this question a lot here.
iolarah 30th-Nov-2012 04:13 am (UTC)
I'm pretty disgusted that Harper voted on behalf of Canada against this, but thankfully his vote didn't count for much (besides making us look like assholes on the world stage again). I hope this move leads to a lasting peace, and soon.
kagehikario 30th-Nov-2012 07:46 am (UTC)
Also feeling so much Canadian shame today.

But go statehood! Sorta. Ish.
metanoiame 30th-Nov-2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Mixed feelings about this...on the one hand, it would be a good thing for the Palestinian territories to get international support and recognition. It would make it easier to negotiate and keep to peace treaties and cease fires, for one thing.

But on the other hand, this can only lead down the road to a two-state solution. Two nations locked into permanent conflict, border skirmishes, and mutual hatred for god knows how long doesn't sound like peace and reconciliation to me.
tallycola 30th-Nov-2012 06:24 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what solution do you think there can be besides two-states? I don't see permanent conflict ending without this turn of events either.
mentalguru 30th-Nov-2012 10:08 am (UTC)
Mmm, I'm wondering how the UK voted, given the fact this shit was apparently our countries fault in a very real way.

I'm thinking however they probably either voted against it or abstained though. I'm not sure. But given the UKs impact on this and its historical connections to the conflict you'd think how they voted would be mentioned. Does anyone know?
perrie 30th-Nov-2012 10:38 am (UTC)
According to this Guardian article, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/united-nations-vote-palestine-state) Britain abstained along with Germany. Votes against were from the USA, Israel, Czech Republic, Panama, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau.
(no subject) - Anonymous
teacoat 30th-Nov-2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
As an American, MTE.
little_rachael 30th-Nov-2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
Well, the U.S.'s vote isn't surprising, but still... :(

This is a step in the right direction. I'm glad most of the world voted to promote Palestine.
the_gabih 30th-Nov-2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
This resolution "doesn't pursue peace," Prosor said, criticizing Abbas for being unable to represent the Gaza Strip, where a Hamas-controlled government presides.

"It pushes it backwards," he said.

celtic_thistle 30th-Nov-2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
Perfect gif.
purplerains 30th-Nov-2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Well, the Israeli government decided to "respond" today by approving building homes on Palestinian land...

Good to see this progression in "peace talks."
soleiltropiques 30th-Nov-2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
ladypolitik 30th-Nov-2012 11:47 pm (UTC)
LOL @ Canada (Well, Harper and that blow-hard douche Baird) throwing a hissyfit, trying to prove how right-wing they are (like, Im partly certain there are people in Israel that are like "lol wut?"), with no one ultimately giving a fuck.
apostle_of_eris 1st-Dec-2012 06:32 am (UTC)
I'll give three to one odds that this political theater does no one on the ground any good.
If you think more highly of Hamas than you do of Likud, you may need to be better informed.
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