UN Recognizes Palestine
Yesterday, despite pleas from Israel, the US and Canada, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a non-member state. The vote falls short of full-fledged recognition since that requires the unanimous approval of the Security Council.
But it upgrades the Palestinian Authority -- it can now legitimately call itself "Palestine" and it now has access to the levers of statehood at the UN. The United States voted against it, as did Israel, Canada, the Czech Republic, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, but notably, both the UK and Australia abstained.
Canada was so shocked at the UN vote that it recalled its diplomats from Israel, the West Bank and the UN missions in New York and Geneva to consult with the government and assess the situation going forward.
"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."
In the end, only nine countries opposed extending recognition to the State of Palestine, while 138 supported it. Forty-eight countries, including the two mentioned, abstained.To read this entire article, please register and it will be opened up to you
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