UN Votes to Support Palestine’s Entry for Full Membership

ON 05/11/2024 AT 12 : 07 AM

By an overwhelming majority of 143 to 9, the United Nations General Assembly just approved a measure granting more rights to Palestine and a renewed request for full membership.
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour.
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour spoke out passionately before the entire UN General Assembly, in support of the UN Measure calling for Palestine to be granted full membership in the UN, and granting Palestine additional rights and privileges in addition to its existing observer status, on May 10, 2024.. UN Video News Feed (FAIR USE)

Yesterday the United Nations General Assembly considered a vote to grant Palestine full membership alongside 193 other member states.

The measure, put forth by the United Arab Emirates, stated that, ““The State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations in accordance with Article 4 of the Charter and should therefore be admitted.” It further "recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably".

The specific text was also carefully crafted to avoid triggering a U.S. law passed in 1990 which, according to the language of that law, explicitly prohibits funding to the United Nations as a whole or any UN agency “which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.” If the resolution had gone through with a formal approval of Palestine as a full incoming member, the U.S. would have been forced by its own laws to cut annual payment obligations to the United Nations as a member itself, payments which are estimated to amount to 22% of the UN's entire collected payments from all members. The U.S. would also have been forced to shut down payments to affiliated agencies, such as UNESCO.

U.S. payments to the United Nations Relief Works Agency, which supports the needs of the Palestinian people, were already suspended when in January 2024 Zionist Israel floated its lies about the UNRWA organization being deeply infiltrated with Hamas. That funding suspension is still in effect.

The resolution also does not provide Palestine with any voting rights, either in the General Assembly or in committees.

As the measure was presented to the full body of the General Assembly for its consideration, Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s UN Ambassador, told the collective that, “We want peace, we want freedom.”

“As we speak, 1.4 million Palestinians in Rafah wonder if they will survive the day and wonder where to go next. There is nowhere left to go,” Mansour said in his speech. “I have stood hundreds of times before at this podium, often in tragic circumstances, but none comparable to the ones my people endured today … never for a more significant vote than the one about to take place, a historic one.”

"A yes vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any state ... It is an investment in peace,” he added. "“Voting yes is the right thing to do, your country for years to come will be proud to have stood for freedom, justice and peace in this darkest hour.”

Speaking immediatelly following Mansour, Gilad Erdan, Israel's envoy to the UN,  spoke it direct defiance and disgust at the measure.  He began by citing the specifics of the UN Charter, which makes membership in the body open to “peace-loving states”, and which can make good on votes and commitments they make as member states, as evidence of how wrong-headed he felt the proposal was that the UAE had brought forth to the UN as a whole.

"As long as so many of you are 'Jew-hating', you don't really care that the Palestinians are not 'peace-loving'," he told the General Assembly representatives present.

“With this new precedent, we may see here representatives of ISIS or Boko Haram that will sit among us,” Erdan said, equating the UN’s support of Palestine to what it would mean if the body were to vote in favor of membership for the two Jihadist guerrilla organizations. Erdan went on to say the decision would provide Palestine with “the rights of a state to an entity that is already partly controlled by terrorists, and will be replaced by a force of child-murdering Hamas rapists.”

In the same address, Erdan also accused the UN of “shredding the UN Charter.” He then pulled out a small paper shredder and fed a copy of the UN Charter document through it to emphasize the point.

“Shame on you,” he said.

The resolution passed by a vote of 143 to 9, with 25 abstentions. The 9 who voted against the measure were Israel, the United States, Argentina, Czechia, Hungary, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Papua New Guinea.

The United State’ Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood, speaking after the vote, attempted to justify his country’s vote against the resolution, by continuing the charade that the U.S. was still very much in support of the rights of the Palestinian people but that what was just voted on in the UN was the wrong move.

"Our vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood; we have been very clear that we support it and seek to advance it meaningfully. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that statehood will only come from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties," he said.

While the representatives of many nations spoke out strongly in favor of Palestine’s inclusion, even as Israel was closing in on the last phase of its genocidal war against the Palestinian people in their homeland of Gaza, one particularly striking outpouring of support came from Venezuela.

Citing the stronger-than-ever global backing of the Palestinian people, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil said after the landslide vote supporting Palestine’s bid to join the UN that this was a cause crossing all international borders.

“With the vast majority of member states [voting in favor], the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved requesting the Security Council for the incorporation of Palestine as a full member. It is a global cry. The world demands a free and sovereign Palestine,” he declared.

Gil’s statement comes after years of his nation, a country used to international challenges itself, already having recognized Palestine as an independent state. That recognition began during what Venezuelans refer to as the Bolivarian Revolution, which came into being in their country during the 1999-2013 term of President Hugo Chávez.

Venezuela also recently upped its recognition of the Palestinian state by moving to add Palestine into the roster of countries which are a part of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP). This is an international alliance which is currently comprised of Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Dominica, and Saint Lucia.

Speaking on behalf of the nation sponsoring the resolution, UAE Ambassador Mohamed Issa Abushahab expressed his country’s gratitude for its passage.

But while he said he believes the vote should “have a profound impact on the future of the Palestinian people,” he regretted that the phrasing – chosen to get it passed -- fell short of sending as strong a vote of support for Palestine as it could have.

It “does not do justice to the state of Palestine, as it only grants additional rights, meaning that Palestine will remain an observer state,” he said after the vote.

While yesterday’s vote might seem wholly symbolic, it does give Palestine several additional powers as an observer state. Those include, according to the United Nations’ own summary of the vote:

  1. To be seated among Member States in alphabetical order
  2. Make statements on behalf of a group
  3. Submit proposals and amendments and introduce them
  4. Co-sponsor proposals and amendments, including on behalf of a group
  5. Propose items to be included in the provisional agenda of the regular or special sessions and the right to request the inclusion of supplementary or additional items in the agenda of regular or special sessions
  6. The right of members of the delegation of the State of Palestine to be elected as officers in the plenary and the Main Committees of the General Assembly
  7. Full and effective participation in UN conferences and international conferences and meetings convened under the auspices of the General Assembly or, as appropriate, of other UN organs
  8. These privileges go into effect when the next regular session of the UN General Assembly begins on September 10, 2024.

The results of the resolution are now being turned over to the UN Security Council, for the 15 member states in that group to consider allowing the state of Palestine to be granted full UN membership.

It will be vetoed, with the United States at the top of that list.