The UN resolution giving Palestinians nonmember state status passed easily 138 to nine, with 41 abstentions*, a reminder of what a sad joke the United Nations General Assembly is. During the floor speeches, both Canada and the U.S. came to Israel’s defense, with Ambassador Susan Rice vigorously objecting to the resolution.
“Progress toward a just and lasting two-state solution cannot be made by pressing a green voting button in this hall,” said Rice. “Nor does passing a resolution create a state where none exists, or change the reality on the ground. This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state.”
Rice emphasized that the resolution would only set back the chances of reaching a two-state solution. “Today’s grand pronouncements will soon fade and the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives have changed,” she said.
The ambassador added that the only way forward was through direct negotiation between both parties.
“There simply are no short cuts,” said Rice. “Long after the votes are cast, long after the speeches have been forgotten, it is the Palestinians and Israelis that still must talk to each other and listen to each other and find a way to live together side by side in the land they share.”
Rice’s remarks were notably strong, and could help her win points with Republicans and conservative pro-Israel groups ahead of her potential nomination for secretary of state.
*Fixed from earlier when I wrote it passed 138 to 41. Final tally was 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions.