That's what Gaza became, contrary to all the confident predictions that Israel's withdrawal would usher in a new era of peace, and that's what a Palestinian state would be as well. "Palestinian 'state' wins U.N. recognition," from USA Today, November 29:
The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday 138-9 with 41 abstentions to grant Palestine non-member state status.
The vote does not settle outstanding issues with Israel or change anything on the ground, say experts.
"We are here for a final serious attempt to achieve peace," Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas told General Assembly delegates before the vote. "Not to end the negotiation processâ?¦ rather to breath new life into the negotiation process."
Vuk JeremiÄ?, president of the General Assembly acknowledged the historical nature of the vote and called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders "to work for peace, negotiate in good faith and succeed."
Israelis say the Palestinian appeal for non-member state status will make peace less likely. Currently the Palestinian Authority has the status of U.N. observer.
Abbas went forward despite appeals to postpone the request, which the United States says will only make negotiations for a permanent state less likely to happen.
"If the Israeli authorities want to threaten my life, they can," Abbas said according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an. "The whole world realizes that the Palestinian Authority, with all its political and security services, and administrative bodies, has been ready to upgrade its status for six years."
The Israeli government did not threaten Abbas' life, but said said that peace is only achieved through negotiations, and not by unilateral declarations that do not take into consideration Israel security needs.
"Israel's hand is always extended in peace, but a Palestinian state will not be established without recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, without an end-of-conflict declaration, and without true security arrangements that will protect Israel and its citizens," he said Thursday.
Ahead of the vote, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch filed an amendment to a defense bill that would eliminate funding for the United Nations if the General Assembly changes Palestine's status.
"Increasing the Palestinians' role in the United Nations is absolutely the wrong approach, especially in light of recent military developments in the Middle East," he said in a statement. "Israel is one of America's closest allies, and any movement to strengthen one of its fiercest enemies must not be tolerated."
In his speech, Abbas said he"did not come here to de-legitimize a state established years ago, that is Israrel. Rather we are here to affirm a state that must achieve its independence, and that is Palestine."
His bid to seek U.N.recognition was met with "an incessant flood of Israeli threats," he said, including "justification of military assaults and ethnic cleansing,particularly in east Jerusalem."
Israel's occupation "is becoming consistent with an apartheid system" that promotes "racial hatred and incitement," he said. "The window of opportunity is narrowing and time is running out."...
What incredible mendacity and projection.