UN vote a step forward for Palestinians
By The New Indian Express | Published: 01st December 2012 12:00 AM |
Thursday’s vote in the United Nations General Assembly according ‘non-member state with observer’ status to Palestine is the correction of a historical wrong committed by the same House 65 years ago. When resolution No. 181 granting recognition to the division of the British-ruled state into a Jewish state and an Arab country was passed at that time, there was celebration in the Jewish streets. In sharp contrast, there is now lamentation in Israel while the Palestinians are celebrating the vote that saw 138 nations supporting their cause, 41 abstaining and nine, including the US, Israel and Canada, opposing it. The vote does not confer full membership on Palestine, which will now be treated like the Vatican, the smallest state represented in the UN.
The state of Palestine, established in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, covers a smaller area compared to the Palestine that resolution No. 181 sought to create. The present Palestine consists of precisely the area Israel had forcibly occupied in the 1967 West Asia war. This means that Israel is still in occupation of land that should rightly belong to Palestine. When resolution No. 181 could not be enforced all these years, there is no guarantee that the new status conferred on Palestine would bring about any dramatic change in its fortunes.
Certainly Palestine has moved one step forward in its attempt to become a full-fledged UN member with all the attendant benefits. That there are some powerful countries with veto rights in the Security Council, opposed to the Palestine state, as is clear from the latest vote, cannot be overlooked. Even so, the new status will make it increasingly difficult for the world body and, through it, the public opinion the world over to ignore the aspirations of the Palestinians. It is a travesty of justice that a large group of people have been dispossessed of their land. The Palestinians have as much right to their own land as any other people anywhere in the world.