The UN votes to recognize a Palestinian state

by Aaron Wherry

The UN voted 138-9 this evening to give the Palestinians non-member observer status. Canada joined the United States, Israel, the Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama in opposing the move. Forty-one countries abstained, including the United Kingdom. Here apparently is the official roll call.

Here is the text of John Baird’s speech at the UN today.

This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations. Will the Palestinian people be better off as a result? No. On the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.

A government official is suggesting “thoughtful and deliberate” action will be taken as a result.




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The UN votes to recognize a Palestinian state

  1. Canadian government to UN: “if you vote to give the Palestinians non-member observer status, we will take immediate steps to make Canada even less relevant on the international stage…’scuse me…hello…over here…listen up… people, I’m trying to talk to you…yoo-hoo…”

    • Exactly. We used to make history, now we’re always on the wrong side of it.

      • Maybe you should take this up with your pal Irwin Cotler.

        • Why, because like the Palestinians, he too has been a victim of organized bullying?

        • Maybe you should take it up with your pal, the Joker.

      • “We used to make history”
        Yes, under Liberal governments, we strode the World like giants.

        • We also used to make history.

  2. 138 to 9…

    “…this unilateral step…”

    #Facepalm.

    • I believe that the point being made there is that the Palestinians unilaterally took the step of asking for this UN recognition despite numerous signed agreements and treaties with the Israelis as part of the peace process pledging that they would not do this.

      • Right – all the Israelis want is that the Palestinians return to the table while the settlers gobble up all of the best parts than remain. Israel follows the rules. Why can’t the Palestinians? /sarcasm

        The legal nonsense coming from Cotler and Baird is just so much bullplop. Do you really think that it has any moral merit whatsoever? Do you not see the sheer hypocrisy of it all?

      • What are the numerous signed agreements? The Oslo accords are almost 20 years old, well past their intended 5 year lifespan and, so far, wholly ineffective. I’m not much moved by people citing them as a reason to oppose the statehood bid… but I’d be curious to know about other agreements which might be more recent, or somehow more relevant.

        • This page has a pretty good backgrounder.

          So, there’s the following agreements:

          The Declaration of Principles (Sept. 13, 1993)
          The “Interim Agreement” (Sept. 28, 1995)
          The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum (Sept. 4, 1999)
          The Trilateral Statement (July 25, 2000)
          The “Roadmap” (Apr. 30, 2003)

          The most explicit of these is probably the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, which states “Recognizing the necessity to create a positive environment for the negotiations, neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement” (emphasis added).

          All that said, I didn’t really mean to say that these agreements are even correct, or binding, just that the characterization of Baird’s use of the word “unilateral” above is an unfair one. Baird was clearly referring to the fact that the PA made the move to get UN recognition unilaterally. Had the Isrealis attempted to change the status of the occupied territories unilaterally, without negotiating the change with the PA, people would have screamed bloody murder.

          • Thanks for the link and list. I think you make a fair point on the use of “unilateral”. In hindsight, probably not a very good choice of words, since I expect more people will be confused and annoyed rather than swayed by it.

  3. Oh! So, who is who?

  4. Goody good, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Micronesia are kind of a free state who really
    are attached to another country, which country is it?

  5. Canada had been and still is part of the Commonwealth too……!

  6. Baird’s solution is to continue with things exactly as they are, because that’s working out so well for the Palestinian people.

    • I guess that’s Cotler’s solution too. Funny you didn’t mention him.

      • Was Cotler appointed special envoy to the UN while we were asleep or something? Does he speak for Canada now?

      • I didn’t hear his statement until the weekend. Shame on Cotler, too.
        How about those 3,000 new settlements?

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