United Nations Votes to Approve Palestinian Statehood

On Thursday, the United Nations voted 138 yes, nine no and 41 abstentions to give Palestine a status of non-member observer. Both Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority and Ron Prosor the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations spoke prior to the vote trading accusations and recriminations. The U.N. passed the statehood resolution even with the stiff opposition of Israel and the U.S.

Abbas told members of the U.N. that Palestine came to the General Assembly at a time that it was still tending to its injuries and burying its dead who were killed due to the latest aggression from Israel. He told the U.N. members that the resolution was the only way the two-state solution could be resolved and the last opportunity for peace. Abbas said Israel’s occupation was both a colonial occupation and racist and said it was urgent that it stopped immediately.

Ambassador Prosor said that this week was the 35th anniversary of the arrival of Anwar Sadat in Jerusalem. He told members that Menachem Begin, the Israeli Prime Minister at that time met with Sadat and said if peace was going to last, Israel’s security had to be guaranteed. He also said that Palestinians had to recognize the sovereign Jewish state and end all hostilities currently and going forward.

In 2011, a threat of a veto in the Security Council by the United States, thwarted a bid for full membership into the U.N. by the Palestinian Authority. Yesterday’s vote was supported by a number of countries from the European Union. A dozen said they would vote in favor, while many said they would abstain. Germany was the only EU member who said it would vote no on the resolution.