The UN General Assembly's 138-to-9 vote officially put 'Palestine' together with 'state' for the first time. But it appeared to offer little practical change. Even Palestinians called it part of a 'process.'
The Palestinian mission at the United Nations won an upgrade from an “entity” to a “state” – albeit one with nonvoting observer status – in a lopsided vote in the General Assembly Thursday.
The 138-to-9 vote, with 41 abstentions, put Palestinians front and center on the international stage for the second time in two weeks, following the recent fighting between Israel and the Palestinians of Hamas-ruled Gaza. The vote also, for the first time, officially puts “Palestine” together with the word “state,” giving Palestinians the same status at the UN held by the Vatican.
In a speech to the General Assembly in New York before the vote, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the status upgrade the “birth certificate of Palestine” and said it represented “the last chance to save the two-state solution” for the Palestinians and Israel.
The timing of the vote was suffused with historical significance, since it fell on the 65th anniversary of the General Assembly’s vote on Nov. 29, 1947, to partition British-ruled Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab.
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