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Palestine Wins

By Countercurrents.org

01 December, 2012

Palestine wins in the UN. In an implicit recognition of sovereign state of Palestine by the UN, the world community has overwhelmingly stood by the Palestine people.

The Palestinian victory in the world body is a stark show of US-Israel isolation, Israel’s failed efforts to suppress the Palestinian people’s struggle and utter failure of very-recent misadventures to undercut the PLO leadership by quarters including Israel in Gaza.

Only nine member-countries including the US and Israel voted against the Palestine proposal.

From the United Nations, Reuters reported [1]:

The 193-nation UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on November 29, 2012 to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations from "entity" to "non-member state," implicitly recognizing a Palestinian state.

There were 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions.

Hillary laments the UN

A Washington datelined Reuters news [2] said:

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on November 29, 2012 criticized the UN General Assembly's vote to implicitly recognize a Palestinian state, calling it an "unfortunate and counterproductive" move that places more obstacles in the path to peace.

"We have been clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis achieve the peace they both deserve: two states for two people with a sovereign, viable independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel," Clinton said in a speech in Washington on foreign policy trends.

A BBC report [3] added:

The UN General Assembly has voted to grant the Palestinians non-member observer state status - a move opposed by Israel and the US.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the assembly the vote was the "last chance to save the two-state solution" with Israel.

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said the bid "doesn't advance peace - it pushes it backwards".

Hundreds of Palestinians celebrated on the streets of Ramallah, in the West Bank, after the result was announced.

'Birth certificate'

"Sixty-five years ago on this day, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which partitioned the land of historic Palestine into two states and became the birth certificate for Israel," Mr Abbas told the assembly.

"The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine," he said.

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, says the only way to achieve peace is through negotiation

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

Opponents of the bid say a Palestinian state should emerge only out of bilateral negotiations, as set out in the 1993 Oslo peace accords under which the Palestinian Authority was established.
Speaking after the vote, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, urged the Palestinians and Israel to resume direct peace talks and warned against unilateral actions.

"By going to the UN, the Palestinians have violated the agreements with Israel and Israel will act accordingly," said the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter.

The UK abstained from the vote, as did Germany. The Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands and Panama were among the nations voting with the US and Israel.

Symbolic milestone

The Palestinians are seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the lands Israel captured in 1967.

While the move is seen as a symbolic milestone in Palestinian ambitions for statehood, the "Yes" vote will also have a practical diplomatic effect, says the BBC's Barbara Plett, at the UN.

It would allow the Palestinians to participate in debates at the UN and improve their chances of joining UN agencies and bodies like the International Criminal Court.

Last year, Mr Abbas asked the UN Security Council to admit the Palestinians as a member state, but that was opposed by the US.

Mr Abbas was much criticized by many Palestinians for remaining on the sidelines of the conflict earlier this month in Gaza and efforts to achieve a ceasefire with Israel.

His Fatah movement, based in the West Bank, is deeply split from the militant Hamas movement which governs Gaza.

Gaza's Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh said in a statement sent to the BBC that Hamas' "support for the UN bid is based on the 'rule of non-recognition of the occupier'... and the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland".

Another BBC report [4] said:

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the United Nations General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinians' status at the UN.

Mr Abbas said he had come to the General Assembly because his people were in desperate need of peace.

He said it was the last chance to save the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


[1] Reuters, “Palestinians win implicit U.N. recognition of sovereign state”, Nov 29, 2012, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/uk-palestinians-statehood-idUKBRE8AS0OJ20121129

[2] Reuters, “Clinton laments ‘counterproductive’ U.N. vote on Palestinians”, Nov 29, 2012, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/uk-palestinians-statehood-un-clinton-idUKBRE8AS1H720121129

[3] BBC, “Palestinians win upgraded UN status by wide margin”, Nov. 29, 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20550864

[4] Nov. 29, 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20550783




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