Palestinians win de facto U.N. recognition of sovereign state

UNITED NATIONS Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:19pm EST

1 of 20. A Palestinian youth (C) waves a flag in front of Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara near Bethlehem, marking the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by the United Nations November 30, 2012. The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on November 29 overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world body to issue its long overdue 'birth certificate.'

Credit: Reuters/Ammar Awad

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world body to issue its long overdue "birth certificate."

The U.N. victory for the Palestinians was a diplomatic setback for the United States and Israel, which were joined by only a handful of countries in voting against the move to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations to "non-member state" from "entity," like the Vatican.

Britain called on the United States to use its influence to help break the long impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Washington also called for a revival of direct negotiations.

There were 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions. Three countries did not take part in the vote, held on the 65th anniversary of the adoption of U.N. resolution 181 that partitioned Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states.

Thousands of flag-waving Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip set off fireworks and danced in the streets to celebrate the vote.

The assembly approved the upgrade despite threats by the United States and Israel to punish the Palestinians by withholding funds for the West Bank government. U.N. envoys said Israel might not retaliate harshly against the Palestinians over the vote as long as they do not seek to join the International Criminal Court.

If the Palestinians were to join the ICC, they could file complaints with the court accusing Israel of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious crimes.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the vote "unfortunate and counterproductive," while the Vatican praised the move and called for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, something bound to irritate Israel.

The much-anticipated vote came after Abbas denounced Israel from the U.N. podium for its "aggressive policies and the perpetration of war crimes," remarks that elicited a furious response from the Jewish state.

"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," Abbas told the assembly after receiving a standing ovation.

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded quickly, condemning Abbas' critique of Israel as "hostile and poisonous," and full of "false propaganda.

"These are not the words of a man who wants peace," Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office. He reiterated Israeli calls for direct talks with the Palestinians, dismissing Thursday's resolution as "meaningless."

ICC THREAT

A number of Western delegations noted that Thursday's vote should not be interpreted as formal legal recognition of a Palestinian state. Formal recognition of statehood is something that is done bilaterally, not by the United Nations.

Granting Palestinians the title of "non-member observer state" falls short of full U.N. membership - something the Palestinians failed to achieve last year. But it does have important legal implications - it would allow them access to the ICC and other international bodies, should they choose to join.

Abbas did not mention the ICC in his speech. But Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told reporters after the vote that if Israel continued to build illegal settlements, the Palestinians might pursue the ICC route.

"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," he said.

"If the Israelis continue with such policy - aggression, settlements, assassinations, attacks, confiscations, building walls - violating international law, then we have no other remedy but really to knock those to other places," Maliki said.

In Washington, a group of four Republican and Democratic senators announced legislation that would close the Palestinian office in Washington unless the Palestinians enter "meaningful negotiations" with Israel, and eliminate all U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it turns to the ICC.

"I fear the Palestinian Authority will now be able to use the United Nations as a political club against Israel," said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the sponsors.

Abbas led the campaign to win support for the resolution, which followed an eight-day conflict this month between Israel and Islamists in the Gaza Strip, who are pledged to Israel's destruction and oppose a negotiated peace.

The vote highlighted how deeply divided Europe is on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At least 17 European nations voted in favor of the Palestinian resolution, including Austria, France, Italy, Norway and Spain. Abbas had focused his lobbying efforts on Europe, which supplies much of the aid the Palestinian Authority relies on. Britain, Germany and many others chose to abstain.

The traditionally pro-Israel Czech Republic was unique in Europe, joining the United States, Israel, Canada, Panama and the tiny Pacific Island states Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia in voting against the move.

'HOPE SOME REASON WILL PREVAIL'

Peace talks have been stalled for two years, mainly over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which have expanded despite being deemed illegal by most of the world. There are 4.3 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

After the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice called for the immediate resumption of peace talks.

"The Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded," she said.

She added that both parties should "avoid any further provocative actions in the region, in New York or elsewhere."

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he hoped all sides would use the vote to push for new breakthroughs in the peace process.

"I hope there will be no punitive measures," Fayyad told Reuters in Washington, where he was attending a conference.

"I hope that some reason will prevail and the opportunity will be taken to take advantage of what happened today in favor of getting a political process moving," he said.

Britain's U.N. ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, told reporters it was time for recently re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama to make a new push for peace.

"We believe the window for the two-state solution is closing," he said. "That is why we are encouraging the United States and other key international actors to grasp this opportunity and use the next 12 months as a way to really break through this impasse."

(Additional reporting by Andrew Quinn in Washington, Noah Browning in Ramallah, Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem, Robert Mueller in Prague, Gabriela Baczynska and Reuters bureaux in Europe and elsewhere; Editing by Eric Beech and Peter Cooney)

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Comments (1)
DeanMJackson wrote:
The article reads, ‘”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,” Abbas told the assembly after receiving a standing ovation.”‘

Pardon me, Mr. Abbas, but Resolution 181 was:

(1) a non-binding resolution adopted 29 November 1947 that did not give birth to Israel. Israel’s birth was May 14, 1948. Remember that date? The next day Arab armies invaded Israel to destroy that new state that you claim Resolution 181 was the “birth certificate for [Israel]“;

(2) moot due to the still legally binding Palestine Mandate of 1922, which the United Nations has no legal choice but to affirm until Israel says otherwise; and

(3) rejected by Arab governments.

A little history lesson on the subject:

Palestine was created in 1922 as the Jewish Homeland. The British were assigned as the administrative occupying power (under the Palestine Mandate of 1922) to ready the Jewish Homeland for independence under Article 22 of The Covenant of the League of Nations:

“ARTICLE 22.

Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.”

Instead of performing its duty under Article 22, Great Britain walked out of Palestine leaving the Jews to the mercies of her hostile Arab neighbors. A shameful episode in the generally proud history of the British Empire.

In the early 1920s the League of Nations created SIX nations for Middle Eastern Arabs (Syria; Iraq; Jordan; Lebanon; Jabal al Druze; and The Alawite State). Back then Arabs living in 1920 Palestine were telling everyone who would listen that they were SYRIANS and wanted Palestine to be a part of Syria?

People who are ignorant of history talk about a “two-state solution”, forgetting that back in the 1920s the League of Nations already implemented a “seven-state solution”! Six states went to the Arabs of the Middle East, while 1 state went to the Jews.

In fact, when Arab governments controlled the West Bank and Gaza between 1948 – 1967, they thumbed their noses at Resolution 181. Do you know why? Well, beginning in 1963, this is why:

Firstly, the term “Palestinian” was a national designation given to the inhabitants of the Jewish Homeland in 1922. Other than that, it had no ethnic/intrinsic nationalist* value, which is why the territory was re-named Israel on May 14, 1948 when the Jews declared independence.

Secondly, Arab governments resurrected the defunct “Palestinian” name in 1964 (at the first Arab League summit in Cairo, Egypt, where the PLO was officially created and launched) when they were forced to alter their strategy towards Israel, because Israel in 1963 had either tested their first nuclear bomb or actually acquired their first nuclear bomb.**

This brings us to the Six-Day War, which was planned (with the cooperation of the USSR) to be lost by Arab governments, so as to operationalize the Arab governments’ proxy strategy, using the newly-minted “Palestinians”.

Note that Arab governments never did create an “Arab” state for West Bank/Gaza inhabitants between 1948 – 1963, nor a “Palestinian” state (when “Arabs” was changed to “Palestinians”) between 1964 – May 1967.

The next phase of the Arab governments’ Long-Range Strategy will be to have Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza renounce their claim for an independent state and opt to become Israeli citizens instead, which is what they are according to the Palestine Mandate of 1922. When one throws in Arabs living in the refugee camps, the Jewish inhabitants of Israel will be electorally out-voted, leading to the reincorporation of the territory that is now Israel back into the Arab fold.

There is, however, one tactic that Israel will use to thwart the “new” Arab governments’ Long-Range Strategy:

Israel’s counter-strategy to offset the looming Arab electoral majority will be to offer Jews living all over the world automatic Israeli citizenship, thereby conferring the right to vote in Israeli elections, swinging the electoral balance back overwhelmingly to the Jewish side.

Contemporaneous with events described above, watch for the fake “collapse” of the Chinese Communist government (following the last major Communist disinformation operation: The fraudulent collapse of the USSR. Both disinformation operations fall under the “Long-Range Policy”, the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West.), when soon after that “collapse” Mexico will request the “assistance” of Chinese troops in combating the then spreading Mexico City-manufactured “drug wars” there. America, however, will be stymied from preventing the presence of Chinese troops in Mexico due to emergencies that will “suddenly” crop up in the Korean peninsula, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
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*”The First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations (in Jerusalem, February 1919), which met for the purpose of selecting a Palestinian Arab representative for the Paris Peace Conference, adopted the following resolution: “We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.”[60]” – Wikipedia, “Palestinian People”.

and

“An all-Palestine Congress was held in Jerusalem between January 27 and February 10, 1919, to formulate a common policy, called “program”, on Palestine to advise Faisal while attending the Paris Peace Conference on behalf of the Arabs. The Jerusalem Congress was presided over by ‘Aref Pasha al-Dajani who was, at the time, the president of the Jerusalem branch of the Muslim-Christian Association mentioned earlier. (Representatives of the Association also attended the General Syrian Congress in Damascus.)(8)

The Jerusalem Congress, resolved to reject political Zionism and to accept British assistance on condition such assistance would not impinge upon Sovereignty in Palestine.(9) Basically, the Congress wanted Palestine to be part of an independent Syrian State to be governed by Faisal of the Hashemite family. It also preferred U.S. political tutelage, should this be necessary, or British tutelage, as a second choice, but under no circumstances would the Congress accept French political guardianship.” – PALESTINE: FACTIONALISM IN THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT (1919 – 1939), DR. MANUEL HASSASSIAN.

Note that DR. MANUEL HASSASSIAN inadvertently admits to the lie of the “distinct Palestinian People” when he writes, “Basically, the Congress wanted Palestine to be part of an independent Syrian State to be governed by Faisal of the Hashemite family.”

In these consultations between Arab elites of Palestine circa 1919-1920, there was NO mention of the “distinct ethnic Palestinian people”. They referred to themselves as Syrian, Arab.

** Note: Arab governments held their first Arab League summit the very year after Israel’s reputed first test (or acquisition) of a nuclear bomb. The summit was necessary in order to implement a new Pan Arab government “Long-Range Strategy” towards Israel.

Dec 01, 2012 8:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
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