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The BBC reports that the Palestinians win upgraded UN status by wide margin. This confirms the CNN live reports now of the same news.  

The UN General Assembly has voted to grant the Palestinians non-member observer state status - a move opposed by Israel and the US.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the assembly the vote was the "last chance to save the two-state solution" with Israel.

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said the bid "doesn't advance peace - it pushes it backwards".

The assembly voted 138-9 in favour, with 41 nations abstaining.

Prior to the vote, I was just writing up another BBC report about the upcoming vote and the speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the U.N. where he  said that the  UN Palestinian vote is 'last chance' to save the two-state solution.


"Sixty-five years ago on this day, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181, which partitioned the land of historic Palestine into two states and became the birth certificate for Israel," Mr Abbas told the assembly.

"The General Assembly is called upon today to issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine," he said.

The Palestinians are seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, the lands Israel captured in 1967.

This vote for non-member observer status alllows Palestine to now participate in UN debates and joining UN agencines including possibly the Internationl Criminal Court.

Although, our government has opposed this vote, I cautiously believe it is an important step in the right direction. Yes, we do need a bilateral negotiated peace, but we also need to enhance the motivations of both sides to become more serious about achieving a negotiated settlement. While this is a huge symbolic victory for President Abbas and the Palestinians, many difficult challenges remain on the road to full statehood and a peaceful negotiated two state solution with Israel. But what a happy day it is for the Palestinian people.  

2:35 PM PT: After the vote the Palestine delegation unfurled the Palestinian flag at the UN, and CNN is broadcasting video of cheering crowds in the West Bank celebrating this historic news.

But Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angrily denounced the vote as reports in The Associated Press article, UN recognizes state of Palestine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the General Assembly shortly before the vote "defamatory and venomous," saying it was "full of mendacious propaganda" against Israel.

Abbas had told the General Assembly that it was "being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine." Abbas said the vote is the last chance to save the two-state solution.

After the vote, Netanyahu said the UN move violated past agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and that Israel would act accordingly, without elaborating what steps it might take.



3:07 PM PT: Thanks to Celtic Merlin for correcting 134 to 138 in my first title.

CNN continues to report boisterous celebrations in the West Bank, including honking car horns and gun fire in the city, which I always find to be a troubling way to celebrate. One of our physics experts explained to me that the falling bullets achieve a terminal velocity due to wind resistance so the falling bullets apparently do not cause as much injury as I initial suspected.  Even still the idea of wild throngs of exuberant, perhaps even drunk people shooting off live rounds of ammunition seems risky to me and I think it should be discouraged.  

CNN also reports  an interesting technicality that the UN voted to upgrade Palestine status from non-member observer "entity" to non-member observer state.  

4:35 PM PT: Montecristo and distraught ask that the full list of votes be documented and have done so in the comments,which I gratefully replicate here:

 

Can the UN voting list be added to the diary?
Against: USA, Israel, Panama, Palau, Canada, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Czech Republic and Micronesia

...makes the Iraq War "coalition of the willing' look impressive in comparsion!

by montecristo on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:30:32 PM PST

and from distraught:

Abstentions:
Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Korea, Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, UK, Vanuatu
somebody posted this list as a comment on The Guardian's website and linked to this legitimate source: https://twitter.com/....
I compared some of the list to the one available through (the photograph posted on) twitter, and it was correct. But I did not check out the full list.

by distraught on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:38:45 PM PST

Thanks guys.

Originally posted to HoundDog on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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