The majority of UN countries have voted to back the creation of
a Palestinian state.
The outcome of the vote was not in question since the majority
of nations represented in the UN had already voiced approval of the
Israel, the United States and Canada were among the few
countries which stood against the move saying it would not further
the cause of the so-called two state solution.
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, called the vote
"unfortunate" and "counterproductive."
The resolution upgrading the Palestinians' status to a nonmember
observer state at the U. N. was approved by a more than
two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body - a vote of
138-9, with 41 abstentions.
A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the
General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.
Real independence, however, remains an elusive dream until the
Palestinians negotiate a peace deal with the Israelis, who warned
that the General Assembly action will only delay a lasting
solution. Israel still controls the West Bank, east Jerusalem and
access to Gaza, and it accused the Palestinians of bypassing
negotiations with the campaign to upgrade their U.N. status.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the speech by
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the General Assembly shortly
before the vote "defamatory and venomous," saying it was "full of
mendacious propaganda" against Israel.
Abbas had told the General Assembly that it was "being asked today
to issue the birth certificate of Palestine." Abbas said the vote
is the last chance to save the two-state solution.
After the vote, Netanyahu said the UN move violated past agreements
between Israel and the Palestinians and that Israel would act
accordingly, without elaborating what steps it might take.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will petition the U.N.
General Assembly on Thursday to unilaterally recognize a
Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem --
areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Overwhelming
approval is likely, while the U.S., Israel, and a few others are
David Rubin is the former mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh
and author of The Islamic Tsunami: Israel and America in the
Age of Obama. He is not surprised so many European countries
are in favor of such a move.
these countries are looking over their shoulder at their growing
Islamic populations, and one way of placating them is doing it at
Israel's expense," he explains. "It's very easy to vote for a U.N.
resolution [because] it doesn't mean that they have to surrender
their homes [or] that they have to put themselves in mortal danger
-- but of course we do."
But Rubin says any resolution passed by the U.N. General
Assembly violates the terms of the Oslo Accords.
"According to the Oslo Accords, any path towards statehood or
any Israeli surrender of land can only go via bilateral
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," he
So Rubin says if the United Nations goes ahead with this
resolution, Israel has many responses at its disposal.