UN Vote on Palestine Seen as a Rebuke to US

Members overwhelmingly back granting full membership to Palestine
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2024 11:11 AM CDT
UN Vote on Palestine Seen as a Rebuke to US
The United Nations flag flies on a stormy day in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

The UN General Assembly voted by a wide margin on Friday to grant new "rights and privileges" to Palestine and called on the Security Council to favorably reconsider its request to become the 194th member of the United Nations. The 193-member world body approved the resolution by a vote of 143-9 with 25 abstentions, per the AP. The United States was among the nine countries voting against it, along with Israel.

  • Symbolic: Nations can become full members of the UN only with the approval of the Security Council, and the US opposition makes it a moot point. Still, the vote is a "highly symbolic move that reflects growing global solidarity with Palestinians and is a rebuke to Israel and the United States," per the New York Times.

  • US position: "We've been very clear from the beginning there is a process for obtaining full membership in the United Nations, and this effort by some of the Arab countries and the Palestinians is to try to go around that," said US deputy ambassador Robert Wood. "We have said from the beginning the best way to ensure Palestinian full membership in the UN is to do that through negotiations with Israel. That remains our position."
  • Palestine became a UN non-member observer state in 2012. Friday's resolution "determines" that a state of Palestine is qualified for membership—dropping the original language that in the General Assembly's judgment it is "a peace-loving state." It therefore recommends that the Security Council reconsider its request "favorably."
  • The renewed push for full Palestinian membership in the UN comes as the war in Gaza has put the more than 75-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict at center stage. At numerous council and assembly meetings, the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians in Gaza and the killing of more than 34,000 people in the territory, according to Gaza health officials, have generated outrage from many countries.
(More United Nations stories.)

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