Sunday, January 04, 2015

Palestinians fail in their UN bid

The Palestinians failed in their bid for a Palestinian state at the UN.

Palestinian leaders, who have refused to negotiate with Israel, went unilaterally to the United Nations with a request for the UN to recognise a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria - the so-called West Bank - and part of Jerusalem, requiring the Israelis to leave by 2017.

Eight nations voted in favour of the Palestinian resolution in the UN Security Council, leaving Palestinians one vote short of the nine they required. (If they had received the nine votes, the bid would not have succeeded. The US would likely have used its veto.)

The eight who voted in favour were Russia, China, France, Jordan, Argentina, Luxembourg, Chile and Chad. France's vote was a surprise: France had previously promised not to vote against Israel. The US and Australia voted against. The United Kingdom abstained.

US Ambassador Samantha Power said the resolution was "deeply unbalanced" and included "unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel's security concerns." She said the US voted against it "because we know what everyone here knows as well: peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must come at the negotiating table."

The Palestine Authority's representative Riyad Mansour said "The result of today's vote shows that the Security Council is clearly not ready and willing to shoulder its responsibilities in a way that would. . . allow us to open the doors to for peace."

Israel's representative Israel Nitzar said "The Palestinians have found every possible opportunity to avoid direct negotiations with Israel. They have engaged in a never-ending string of political games, and now they are parading into this council with preposterous unilateral proposals. I have news for the Palestinians: you cannot agitate and provoke your way to a state."

Although the majority of Americans support Israel, relations between US President Obama and Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu are at their lowest. The US State Department last year cited Israel for "unacceptable behaviour" more times than anyone except Syria, Iran and North Korea. President Obama is said to be campaigning against the selection of Netanyahu as Prime Minister at Israeli elections in March.

While Hamas is stockpiling rockets and building new tunnels in preparation for the next war against Israel, the General Court of the European Union decided to remove Hamas from its list of terrorist organisations.

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