On Thursday, November 29, the United Nations voted 138 to 9 (with 41 abstentions) to upgrade Palestine's status as a "non-member observer entity" to a "non-member observer state," in spite of vehement opposition from the United States and Israel. This means that Palestine is now formally recognized as an independent state by the UN. However, Palestine is not a full member of the UN, because that would require a majority vote in the UN Security Council, of which the US is a prominent member. Any attempt to petition for full membership would be quickly blocked by the US. 

This successful upgrade to statehood will most likely be followed by an effort for Palestine to become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, if Palestine joins the ICC, members of the Israeli military in West Bank and Gaza could be arrested and charged for acts committed in war zones. 

The US was unilaterally opposed to Palestine's bid for statehood, due to support of Israel and the belief that only peaceful negotiation will help solve the conflict between the Hamas and Israel.
Jay Burgin
12/7/2012 06:46:02 am

This is a quote from Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, on the Palestinian bid to the U.N.
What makes better headlines? Is it numbing figures such as the 8,000 Palestinian rockets fired at Israel since it unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and the 42.5 percent of Israeli children living near the Gaza border who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? Or is it high-resolution images of bombed-out buildings in Gaza and emotional stories of bereaved Palestinians? The last, obviously, as demonstrated by much of the media coverage of Israel's recent operation against Hamas. But that answer raises a more fundamental question: Which stories best serve the terrorists' interest?
Hamas also has a media strategy. Its purpose is to portray Israel's unparalleled efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza as indiscriminate firing at women and children, to pervert Israel's rightful acts of self-defense into war crimes. Its goals are to isolate Israel internationally, to tie its hands from striking back at those trying to kill our citizens and to delegitimize the Jewish State. Hamas knows that it cannot destroy us militarily but believes that it might do so through the media.


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