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Terrorism & Security

World weighs in on UN Palestine vote

World headlines showed a mix of emotions – but a lot of common ground on how much impact this may have on prospects for peace.

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Directly following the vote, the US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said, "Today's unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path of peace…. Today's grand pronouncements will soon fade and the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded." 

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Latin America Editor

Whitney Eulich is the Monitor's Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for and the weekly magazine. She also curates the Latin America Monitor Blog.

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According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, “The Palestinian Authority foreign ministry said Thursday it would re-evaluate ties with countries that oppose Palestine's bid to upgrade its status at the UN.”

Even with the vote secured, uncertainty prevails about how this affects Palestinian-Israeli relations, as well as those between President Abbas’s administration and the Hamas movement in Gaza.

The Washington Post’s editorial board wrote ahead of the vote that the Palestinian Authority’s victory “will be a pale triumph for President Mahmoud Abbas and his West Bank-based Fatah movement.”

So weak has his administration become, especially in contrast to its rival, the Gaza-based Hamas movement, that some governments, such as Britain, are considering voting for the resolution, even though they oppose it in principle, out of fear that the authority is fading into irrelevance. Israel, too, appears to have toned down its plans for reacting, with officials saying they will wait and see what Mr. Abbas does after the vote.

The United Kingdom abstained from casting a vote in the end.

Kenneth Bandler, the American Jewish Committee’s director of media relations, wrote in a commentary for Fox News that Abbas’s UN bid distracted from the threat of Hamas:

Upgrading the status of Palestine at the U.N. will be a transitory victory for an increasingly beleaguered Abbas. It is an unhelpful diversion from the reality on the ground, the growing danger of a terrorist regime ensconced in Gaza that threatens Israel and any Palestinian who aspires to achieve sustainable peace.

And many walked the line that the Palestinian win was a bad omen for progress and peace with Israel.

In Australia, opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop echoed the sentiments of many of the nine countries that voted against the resolution (those included the US, Israel, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Panama), and the 41 who abstained, which includes Australia.


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