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Editorial

October 22, 2018
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Palestine at the UN

Editorial

October 22, 2018

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Palestine received another significant moral victory in the United Nations last week, with the UN General Assembly allowing the country to act like a full UN member state during meetings starting next year. Moreover, Palestine will also chair the group of 77 developing nations. The only opposition to the move came from three countries: Israel, the US and Australia. What is clear is that the last two countries are isolated in their support of Israel in opposition to Palestine. However, the US-Israel alliance alone is powerful enough to ensure that there is no real resolution to the plight of Palestine. The 146 votes in favour of Palestine do not matter in the context of the everyday life of Palestinians. However, the vote gives Palestine moral authority at the helm of the group of 77 developing nations. The US has continued to insist that Palestine has no status as an independent state. The reality is that most of the world’s countries recognise Palestinian statehood, despite the apartheid that exists on the ground. The last upgrade Palestine received was in 2012 when the UNGA increased its status from non-member state to observer. Palestine will now be able to operate with a status much closer to that of a full member.

For now, this decision is limited to Palestine acting on behalf of the G77. The Australian decision to vote against Palestine confirms that the US-Israel nexus has found another ally in its attempts to ensure that Palestine remains suppressed. Australia is set to become the second country to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This has come despite warnings from Australia’s own intelligence services not to go ahead with the move. The US and Australia looked to have lost any moral authority they could claim in the face of the UN vote on Palestine. In reality, neither of them will care much about any lost image. Israel’s support is based on military power and force, not any humanitarian or moral logic. A number of American decisions aimed at undermining Palestine in the UN have not worked, including cutting refugee aid and moving its embassy to Jerusalem. The US will continue to try to undermine Palestine at the UN, but it will be important for the rest of its members to continue to support Palestine. Pressure on the few countries opposing Palestine will have to increase in real terms for hope to be real for the Palestinian people.

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