UN, green light for Palestinian membership: Italy abstains. The Israeli ambassador: “You opened the United Nations to the Nazis”


By John

The UN relaunches full membership of Palestine and unleashes Israel's wrath. The General Assembly adopted by a two-thirds majority a resolution that improves the Palestinian status by guaranteeing several additional rights, but not the right to vote. “Palestine is qualified to become a full member of the United Nations in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter,” reads the text, which invites the Security Council to “reconsider the matter favorably.” The green light from the CDS (where the US vetoed last month) is in fact a necessary condition for any full approval by the Assembly. But the approved resolution still provides some additional privileges for Palestine, for example that of being seated among the member states in alphabetical order, or of presenting proposals, amendments and raising procedural motions in the Assembly (not granted to the other non-member observer state, the Holy See, nor the European Union). However, Palestinians will not have the right to vote, nor will they be able to present their candidacy for the main UN bodies such as the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc) or the Human Rights Council. The resolution was approved by a very large majority, with 143 yes, 9 no and 25 abstentions, including Italy and other European countries such as Germany, Great Britain, Albania, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Finland, Holland and Sweden. While the nine who voted against are the United States, Israel, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Palau, Nauru, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea. The Foreign Minister of the Jewish State Israel Katz branded the move as an “absurd decision”: “The message that the UN sends to our suffering region is that violence pays”, he thundered, speaking of “a reward for terrorists of Hamas.”

Ambassador Gilad Erdan added to the matter by underlining that «this day will remain remembered in infamy. You have opened the United Nations to modern Nazis.”, he denounced, speaking of a «Palestinian terrorist state that would be led by the Hitler of our times». “You are tearing the UN Charter to pieces with your hands,” he told the countries that voted in favor, symbolically passing some pages of the document through a paper shredder. The United States, invited by Tel Aviv to immediately stop funding the international organisation, explained that their vote against “does not reflect opposition to the Palestinian state”. “We have been very clear in supporting it and trying to take it forward in a meaningful way,” said Ambassador Robert Wood. Instead, it is a recognition of the fact that statehood can only result from a process with direct negotiations between the parties. It remains our view that unilateral measures at the United Nations and on the ground will not advance this goal.” Italy too, as underlined by the permanent representative, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, “shares the objective of global and lasting peace which can only be achieved on the basis of a two-state solution”, but believes that “this result must be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties”. “We doubt that the approval of today's resolution will contribute to the objective of a lasting solution to the conflict. For this reason we have decided to abstain”, added Massari, explaining the Italian position Palestinian Ryad Mansour, for his part, stated that «voting for the existence of Palestine is not against any state, but is an investment in peace». «Our flag flies high and proud all over the world – he added – ed it has become a symbol of those who believe in freedom.”