What the UN Vote Actually Means
The actual and symbolic value of non-observer status
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.
Should you be underwhelmed by the proceedings, Jewcy has the answer
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.