Oh Yes - Viva Palestine

The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “observer entity” to “observer non-member state” despite strong opposition by Israel and the US.

The 193-member assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions at the UN headquarters in New York for a resolution approving the upgrade. Nine countries, including Canada, Israel, and the United States, voted against it. 

Speaking before the vote, the acting Palestinian Authority Chief, Mahmoud Abbas told the General Assembly that it was “being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine…” 

The vote is seen as a long-sought victory for the Palestinians, but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States. 

Having earned the observer non-member status, Palestinians enjoy access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court where they could file complaints against Israel. The upgrade also allows the Palestinians to participate in debates at the UN and improve their chances of joining UN agencies. 

The United States and Israel have spared no means for the past two years to stymie the Palestinians’ efforts towards upgrading Palestine’s status at the UN, arguing that it is only through negotiations with Israel that Palestinian statehood ambitions can yield.