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At the UN, Palestinians receive massive but symbolic support for their membership

Photo: Charly Triballeau Agence France-Presse “I have stood at this platform hundreds of times, but never for a vote more important than today, historic,” launched the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour.

Amélie Bottollier-Depois – Agence France-Presse at the United Nations

Published at 12:00 p.m. Updated at 12:05 p.m.

  • Middle East

Angering Israel, an overwhelming majority of the UN General Assembly ruled Friday that Palestinians deserve full membership in the organization, granting them some additional rights short of full membership. blocked by the United States.

“I have stood at this podium hundreds of times, often in tragic circumstances, but none comparable to what my people are experiencing today,” said Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour.

“I have stood at this podium hundreds of times, but never to a vote more important than today, historic,” he added, his voice tight with emotion.

This resolution “will have a significant impact on the future of the Palestinian people”, even if in itself, it “does not do justice to the State of Palestine”, which remains an observer, added the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates , Mohamed Issa Abushahab, on behalf of the Arab countries.

Faced with the war in Gaza, the Palestinians, who since 2012 have had the status of “non-member observer state », had relaunched at the beginning of April their 2011 request demanding to become a full member state of the United Nations.

To succeed, such an initiative requires, before a vote of the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority, a positive recommendation of the Security Council. But the United States vetoed it on April 18.

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Even if the General Assembly cannot override this veto, the Palestinians have decided to turn to its 193 member states, thus proving that without the American veto, they would have a two-thirds majority necessary to validate membership.

The resolution presented by the United Arab Emirates, adopted by 143 votes for, 9 against and 25 abstentions, “notes that the State of Palestine fulfills the conditions required to become a member” of the UN, and “should therefore be admitted to the Organization”.

It thus requests that the Security Council “reconsider favorably the question”.

But the United States, which opposes any recognition outside of a bilateral agreement between the Palestinians and their Israeli ally, warned Friday that if the issue returned to the Security Council, it would expect “a result similar to April”.

A precedent ?

“We could find ourselves in a sort of disastrous diplomatic loop with the Assembly repeatedly calling on the Council to accept Palestinian membership and the United States vetoing it,” commented Richard Gowan, an analyst at the International Crisis Group.

In this perspective, the text immediately grants “exceptionally and without this constituting a precedent”, a series of “additional rights and privileges” to the Palestinians from the 79th session of the Assembly in September.

Unambiguously excluding the right to vote and to be a member of the Security Council, this resolution will allow them, for example, to directly submit proposals and amendments, without going through a third country, or even to sit among the member states in alphabetical order.

Even if these measures are largely symbolic, Israel, whose government rejects the two-state solution, has castigated the resolution.

“This makes me sick,” Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan declared from the podium, accusing the Assembly of “giving the rights of a state to an entity already partially controlled by terrorists.”

“With this new precedent, we could see representatives of Daesh or Boko Haram sitting among us here. »

“You are tearing the Charter to shreds, shame on you!” » he said again, putting his words into action by passing the text of the UN charter through a shredder.

The United States, who voted against, had also widely expressed their reservations about the initiative.

The Americans still believe that “unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground” will not allow us to move towards lasting peace and a two-state solution, insisted Nate Evans.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116