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What the UN Vote Actually Means

The actual and symbolic value of non-observer status

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As expected, the United Nations voted to upgrade the Palestinian status to non-member observer state just a few moments ago. The vote went 138 for, 9 against, with 41 abstentions. But what are the nuts and bolts of the status change?

Actual value: While previously an “entity” in the eyes of the United Nations, Palestine’s upgrade to observer state means that they are in the same boat that Switzerland was in before it became a full member with voting rights a decade ago. The Palestinian delegation will not have voting rights in the United Nations, but with enhanced status, the Palestinian representatives may pursue membership in United Nations bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as the International Criminal Court (one aspect of the upgrade that has been stressing for Israel).

Symbolic value: The vote is an implicit recognition of Palestinian sovereignty. But implicit recognitions aren’t worth the paper they are implied on. Last year’s bid for actual statehood (which was blocked in the Security Council) would have granted Palestine universal recognition and full statehood in the eyes of the UN. This wasn’t the case.

The rest, it seems, is commentary. We’ll have more on this later.

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Lanskymob says:

Good thing they’ve spent the last 40+ years preparing for this moment by spending the trillions in donor cash on infrastructure, education, tech, etc.

Oh, wait….

Seems to me this is a positive… for the Jews. Those of us who actually want a two state solution (as opposed to the Netanyahu government and most of the Israeli establishment which just views it is a convenient thing to talk about while they build settlements that will make disengagement impossible), should welcome any help we can get from the Palestinians to pry the Israeli government out of the territories. I suspect that it is already years to late to avoid the anti-democratic demographic crisis that we’ve brought upon ourselves. I think the Israeli government and voters have already decided against Jewish democracy in the long term, and set ourselves/themselves up either for a future ethno-national tyranny… or a secular-democracy which will not go well for the Jews. But even at this late date, we can thank God that the Palestinians, in pursuing their own interests, are giving us a last chance to realize our own interests too.

    Are you serious? Sixty-five years ago they could have had their own country. They don’t want THEIR own country, they want someone else’s. Don’t break your head analyzing this move. Settlements have NOTHING to do with Pals having their own country. This is just another opportunity to screw Israel. Bottom line is, they will screw themselves, again.

    dvamar says:


    LtcHoward says:

    Wake up, they want you dead. And the more painfully a death the better. Read the following article by Joel Brinkley. He is currently a professor at Stanford and previously was the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times.

    Hamas’s Gaza Win Joel Brinkley

    The latest, just-ended battle between Israel and Hamas demonstrates once again that the Palestinian extremist group holds nearly all the cards—even though it’s an obdurate, unredeemable terrorist organization.

    “From our ideological point of view, it is not allowed to recognize that Israel controls one square meter of historic Palestine,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas leader, told me when I visited him 10 years ago. Then, just a few days ago, Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, said: “We are sending a short and simple message: There is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine.”

    In other words, unlike most terrorist groups, Hamas exists for only one reason: to destroy Israel. This presents Israel with an unresolvable dilemma. Its military has killed a dozen or more Hamas leaders over the years, and yet new ones sprout up almost right away. And in the last five years, all of them have learned that the price can be high, but they can get what they want from Israel.

    Think back a year. That’s when Hamas released Gilad Shalit, an Israeli solider they were holding. Five years earlier, they’d abducted him as he was on patrol outside the border fence. Hamas kept him safe but incommunicado—realizing they were holding a great bargaining chip.

    So what finally happened? Israeli traded him for 1,027 Palestinians being held in Israeli jails. Hamas was jubilant, and no wonder.

    This time, Hamas fired hundreds of missiles into Israel, provoking airstrikes that killed at least 160 Palestinians and leveled scores of buildings. But in the end, Hamas made demands in exchange for ending its rocket attacks—and appears to be getting more or less what it wants. Israel agreed to ease restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza and allow Palestinians more access to a buffer zones that Israel had imposed on the Gaza side of the border and at sea.

    What did Israel get in exchange? Nothing except the return to the status quo—meaning no more rocket fire for now but the near certainty that the next time Hamas wants something, it will send more missiles across the fence line.

    One reason Hamas does not seem more hesitant is that the world seems to be on their side, regardless of the facts on the ground. Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president who negotiated the cease-fire, like so many other world leaders, offered not even glancing acknowledgment of the rocket volleys Hamas fired into Israel. That’s what ignited this current crisis, not anything Israel did—other than exist.

    Morsi and others blamed Israel instead. The Egyptian leader castigated Israel for what he called “wanton aggression on the Gaza Strip” and sent his prime minister to Gaza City. There, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil theatrically broke into tears at the sight of a boy injured in Israel’s retaliatory bombing and said, “What I am witnessing in Gaza is a disaster, and I can’t keep quiet. The Israeli aggression must stop.”

    And so it goes for Israel and Hamas. The rockets have stopped for now. But you can be sure that, for Hamas, the cease-fire is nothing more a temporary stratagem.

      Some want me dead, some don’t care, and a few want everyone to have peace. Wanting me dead isn’t some fixed immutable reality. Our human desire to kill changes with the realities we face, the conversations we have, the bombs that do or do not fall on our heads. The model with which you understand the workings of the political world and the human heart is deeply flawed. Flawed models produce useless and incoherent outputs and decisions. Hamas is not one thing for all time, just as the PLO is not, just as Israel is not.

Poupic says:

The UN just voted observer status to an invented nation it created by supporting the Arab refugees for over 6 decades while Arab states who created those refugees refused to absorb them. At the same Arab lands were emptied of any Jewish communities. They were absorbed on their first day in Israel without any UN help. No other group of refugees ever had their own UN organization such as UNWRA and they ended up absorbed wherever they ended even if they did not speak the language unlike the Arab refugees still in camps all over the Arab world, still refugees with no rights. How is it possible? The UN is controlled by Arab and other Islamic states, the majority vote. Who supports this horror? US tax payers! Apparently we do not have a fiscal crisis when it comes to Fatah and Hamas terror.

Afrayedknot says:

Now that both Spain and Turkey have voted for this measure, Israel and Jews who care about Israel should work to vigorously support Catalonian and Kurdish independence. Fair’s fair, right?

    In the Kurdish case, absolutely. They have a truly raw deal, just as we did, and just as the Palestinians do. In the Catalonian case it is not so clear, for a variety of reasons. The Basque case on the other hand? They’ve got a good argument, although they seem to have backed off in recent years. Anyone who calls himself a Zionist should be supportive of small nations achieving independence from large hegemonic empires and cultures. It’s just a matter of consistency and justice.

    PhillipNagle says:

    What about the Basques!

Armorer says:

The photo of Abbas bears an uncanny likeness to that of Neville Chamberlain holding up the equally worthless Munich appeasement agreement in 1938. By this unilateral action, all previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians have been rendered null and void. Yes, they can create headaches — what else? — if they have access to the ICC, but for all intents and purposes this is the end of the road for Palestine. Israel can now wash its hands of negotiations with annihilationists who were never partners for peace. This is the Platonic essence of a Pyrrhic victory, and welcome to it.

LtcHoward says:

Israel should start collecting overdue bills like for electricity, water etc. Also, as a responsible government the Palestinian Authority be responsible for claims for damages created by terrorists originate or in the past originated from the West Bank. in addition Israel should look carefully at Palestinian media and education, etc. andpublicly demand their immediate cessation (and take counteraction should this not happen immediately.

LtcHoward says:

Now get the US and the nations voted against the resolution or abstained to join Israel in demanding that Palestinian authority:

1 Explicitly recognize Israel as a Jewish state

2. Explicitly renounce the absolute & nonnegotiable demand of the “right of return of all refugees and their descendants {self identified} to the pre-67 boundaries of “Palestine”)

Urge that Palestinians living in the camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, etc. be offered citizenship in their resident countries Also offer them the option of citizenship in a West Bank Palestinian state. ( PA position is that “refugees” in the camps, even on the West Bank will not be offered citizenship in a new Palestinian state)

4. Abandon the demand the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and any other Palestinian territory be jew-free


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What the UN Vote Actually Means

The actual and symbolic value of non-observer status

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