Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Israel, US lament as Palestine celebrates

The Palestinian delegation, with President Mahmoud Abbas at centre, reacts to the resolution upgrading Palestine’s status as a non-member observer state. Picture: AP Source: AP

PALESTINIANS are claiming an historic victory in their push for national sovereignty after the UN General Assembly voted by an overwhelming majority to accept the West Bank and Gaza territories as a “non-member observer state”.

Despite strong objections from the US and Israel, Palestine won implicit recognition as a sovereign state yesterday in a 138-to-nine vote. Australia was among the 41 abstentions.

The vote giving Palestine the same status as the Vatican came on the 65th anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s 1947 resolution that the land held under a British mandate should be partitioned as separate Jewish and Arab states.

It also comes little more than a year after the failed attempt by the Palestinian Authority’s President, Mahmoud Abbas, to win full statehood for Palestine, only to have the matter lapse as the US said it would use its veto power to block the move in the Security Council.

Bestowing a non-member observer status is within the UN General Assembly’s authority and cannot be blocked by permanent UN Security Council nations.

Although the result yesterday was widely expected and does nothing in the short term to create an independent Palestinian state, it intensifies international pressure on Israel to reach a negotiated settlement.

There is also a risk, partly explaining the objections of Israel and the US, that Palestinians could use their new status to gain access to the International Criminal Court and press charges against Israel for alleged abuses during military operations dating back to at least 2008.

Addressing the assembly in New York, Mr Abbas said he did not want to delegitimise Israel as a state, but said the Palestine state deserved a “birth certificate” to recognise its reality.

Although Mr Abbas did not mention access to the ICC, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki did say the court remained an option if Israel continued to build illegal settlements on disputed territory. For Palestinians, such land includes East Jerusalem.

“As long as the Israelis are not committing atrocities, are not building settlements, are not violating international law, then we don’t see any reason to go anywhere,” Mr al-Maliki said.

Yesterday’s UN vote was set against the backdrop of a ceasefire agreement following the latest hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza — in which Mr Abbas, as the leader of his Fatah Party in the West Bank, had played no role.

The UN vote suddenly gives Mr Abbas relevance when he appeared to be lacking any and peace negotiations with Israelis had been stalled for two years.

While opposing the Palestinian Authority President’s move, both the US and Israel would nonetheless prefer to negotiate with the more moderate Mr Abbas and his Fatah Party, and not Hamas, which remains committed to Israel’s destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nonetheless condemned comments by Mr Abbas to the General Assembly as “hostile and poisonous”.

Calling for direct negotiations with Palestinians, he described the UN resolution as “meaningless”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the vote an “unfortunate and counterproductive” move that placed further obstacles in the path to peace.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN and believed to be President Barack Obama’s choice to replace Mrs Clinton, also called the UN vote an “obstacle to peace”, arguing it would fail to lead to a resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ms Rice told the UN General Assembly: “Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade and the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little has changed. This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state.”

Yesterday’s vote was also notable because France, a permanent member of the UN Security council that has not recognised Palestine as a sovereign state, supported the resolution. Germany was among the nine opposing.

As well as the option of action in the ICC, the new status could give Palestine access to specialised UN agencies.

The risk here for Palestinians is that the US congress could cut off substantial foreign aid, as it did for Unesco last year when the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organisation recognised Palestine as a fully fledged member.

On that occasion, the US was bound by legislation forbidding further aid if Palestine was accepted unilaterally without a negotiated settlement with Israel on territory and borders.

Mr Netanyahu’s Israeli government could seek to punish Mr Abbas and his party for winning Palestine’s new status by cutting off funding from tax revenue raised in the West Bank. Doing so could be calamitous if it led to the West Bank’s economic collapse and the downfall of Mr Abbas’s party, only to see the rise of Hamas.

- The Australian

Displaying 23 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. mohamed cheers says:

    The UN World Body has been bold enough for the first time to show a good face value
    on the Palestine Israel political deadlocked since 1948? This overwhelminging victory
    for the Palestinian side is positive for the M-E peace and good for both sides?
    Hopefully, the UN would continue to apply and keep the same spirit for future deliberations
    for comprehensive peace for ltwo state solution? The AL/OIC and all peace loving IC should
    work to unite the Hamas and the PLO as one Govt? Promoting Hamas as a political faction
    like the IRA Wing is helpful? It's high time the World show act together to show a meaningful
    face values for the Palestine and Israel crisis to get resolved one or another?

  2. mohamed cheers says:

    Correction….should act together to show….again…one way or another etc.

  3. amal says:

    Masha Allah

    Alhamdulilah and congratulation Palestine mabrook. UN acted boldly for the first time well done

    Keep up and hope khair insha Allah

    • PuntlandGeezer(PIS) says:

      when the UN said 138 in favour for Palestinian state I couldn't hold me excitement so grab my wife garbasaar and wrapped it around me head and did salman khan moonwalk dance steps from the movie maine pyar kiya

      at 3:48

      • mohamed cheers says:


        What's this Indian love story film? Belo waxba meesha ka dhacay marhadiba Salman Khan
        moonwalk dance iyo movie maine pyar kiya is hanteen? Rabbi(Kayse) what's your take on
        this latest episode?

        • Khaatumo Citizen says:

          loooool is that what you call a moonwalk, damn you have bad taste in music. bloody Indians,

          • mohamed cheers says:


            Inabti ka waran salman khan moonwalk dance adna halki movie pyar kiya meteshid?
            Rabbi(Kayse iyo Puntlandgeezer(PIS) iyana ay tumtaan musicgii saarka poo poo in the woods?


          • Khaatumo Citizen says:

            LooL Mohamed Cheers I'll leave that role for Amal, I'm not good at acting.

          • mohamed cheers says:


            Inabti, see u backing down? Filmku adigu kugu qurux badna?
            Nevermind? Keep opposing reer abti nasahablood hooyo macan?
            Amal Xaqsoor ma arabkaad is'dhasheenba mise wa isir kale?
            Amal uma jeedo? Nabadaay iyo hasaawe kale? sometime somewhere?

  4. Ilyas says:

    Congrets palestine, i hope somalis will learn something from you. Xamas and fatx have a complete oppossitte logic of dealing with the afairs but they united when they felt their country is in danger. That's what they call accountability and responsibility taking. Unfortunately, somalis got their clan desease above everything and above islam in some cases that i have witnissed. The reality is that no one and absolutely no one will pay you a respect if they can't see you respect you're own family.

  5. Ahmed says:

    Palestinians are the bravest arabs in the middle east, they deserve it. I feel sorry for the Somalis that compare themselves to the Palestinians, bc we kill each other and sell one another for the sake of tribe. Sometimes i wonder who invented the tribe thing bc its done no good for Somalia. I also got it why Siad Bare wanted to bury tribe, he succeeded first, but then it was resurrected again.

    • helll jew says:

      siad tried to bury tribe, since when. All government posts where held by his kinsmen, his tribe where the rich from the tax collected from others, and he tried to exterminate issaqs.

  6. Kayse says:

    This is nothing to celebrate about. What is observer? It will not change anything because the solution is not UN nor the West and their fake institutions including the UN but Arab unity who stand common ground against the Western military outpost that some people refer to as "Israel".

    I admire the fact that Israel came on top of 300 million Arabs and they can do as they wish but this is only the first kick in the ball game….in the end the Arabs will once again regain their land and the illegals will go back to where they came from just like Saladin days.

    • kaboon says:

      For once i agree with Kinsi candho, the fact that 15 million jews squeezed 300 million arab balls for 70 years is worrying. Instead of begging the enemy, why don't arabs fight them. There are lots of muslim places worst then Palestine such as Afghanistan, Chechnya, Burma, Kashmire,etc. but you don't see arabs talking about them.

  7. Khaatumo Citizen says:

    #Free Palestine #Congrats #The World With You #Allah With You #Inshallah #No War #Peace #Love #Existence #Rights #Islam.

    May Allah also help Somali people wherever they may be and bring their hearts together. Ameen

  8. puntland boy says:

    Yes, I welcome Palestine. I love Palestine. Inshallah they get 100% recognition one day and a permanent member seat in the UN. But I don't want Somaliland to get anything and forever be unrecognized. They are high on khat all the time and calling for recognition for no reason. They act like the war was between South Somalia Vs North Somalia when it was really SNM, USC, SSDF vs Siad Barre. That is why I hate Somaliland. They lie to white people about being killed the most when everyone suffered, especially Rahanweyn. Palestinians have a real reason to ask for their own nation. Palestine I love you.

  9. m.ali says:

    to Puntland boy. I think you are sick. What palestinian article had anything to do with Somaliland. It shows your hatred against this people of the so called Somaliland. Your hatred is same with all other Somalis from South and that is the reason Somalia will never settle. There many people with same ideas and hatred like you.

    I believe Somaliland was the engine pulling a trailer, and the trailer is Somalia. Since the disconnected it, the Engine had been moving swiftly in the last 20 years. See how the face of Somaliland cities and towns are changing. You are missing the gold which is the peace people of Somaliland are enjoying.

  10. mohamed cheers says:


    Inabti adigu ma waxaad isuu haysata inaad miyir qabtid lool?

  11. Gee says:

    Decedents from the same father failing to recognize existence for one another, sadly recognize to eliminate one another.

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