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U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid

U.N. approves Palestinian 'observer state' bid | Geography Education |
The United Nations General Assembly approved an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition.

While this may be primarily symbolic, it is still a highly significant move on the part of the United Nations.  65 years ago, the United Nations called for a two-state system.  This map of the vote that I found on Facebook (can't find another source as of yet) is quite intriguing. 


Questions to Ponder: Why might a country choose to abstain?  Can you think of a specific reason why a particular country abstained?  With this new geopolitical fact, how will Israel and Palestine move forward?   

Seth Dixon's comment, November 30, 2012 7:32 AM
I found this comment from Shaul Cohen, a Jewish Geography Professor who lived in Israel and served in the IDF: "Sixty-five years ago today the United Nations voted in favor of an independent Israel, a vote that was opposed by Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. That opposition was a mistake, and they also were voting against the creation of a Palestinian state. Today the United Nations moved one step closer to the establishment of that Palestinian state, a move that was opposed by Israel and the United States. That opposition was a mistake.
In the intervening decades many lives have been lost, many families have been shattered, and the course of two nations has been warped by violence and hostility. Unfortunately, there are still too many people on each side that refuse to recognize the basic rights and fundamental humanity of the other community, and see the situation as a zero-sum contest. Indeed, there are those that celebrate when the other loses even more so than working toward realizing their own goals. This is a tragedy, and the guilt lies with the leadership on both sides, but also with those who justify their actions on fear and hatred… something that is too easily mobilized and manipulated by those opposed to compromise.
It’s way past time for Israelis to recognize that when Palestinians lose, they themselves lose, and for Palestinians to recognize that when Israelis lose, they too lose. The communities are too bound up with one another to suffer in isolation. In the long run Israel will not have what it wants before there is a Palestinian state, and Palestinians will not have their state so long as they contemplate war against Israel. The way forward, despite it all, remains two states for two nations, a configuration that has broad endorsement and a simple logic. ANYONE WHO ADVOCATES ON BEHALF OF PALESTINIANS MUST ALSO BE A SUPPORTER OF A SECURE ISRAEL; AND ANYONE WHO ADVOCATES ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL HAS TO SUPPORT AN INDEPENDENT AND VIABLE PALESTINIAN STATE. Anything else is a recipe for continued failure and bloodshed, and there’s been far too much of that already. Today is less a day for celebration than a day for reflection, and even more for dedication to a just and lasting peace. All the rest is just vanity…."
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 10:25 AM

One year ago, the U.N. status regarding Palestine was upgraded from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state".  While Palestinians believe that this is a major push for peace and for Palestinian independence, other countries believe that the change will not do anything for Palestine.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 10:17 AM

(Africa topic 3)

Though there is much to be said from this map, I would like to focus on the red and black countries. I was surprised that only 9 nations did not support the acknowledgement of Palestine as a recognizable political entity. Of those 9, only 2 are members of the G8 (or perhaps now G7 due to Russia's suspension) Summit committee. The countries which abstained likely did so out of a mix of reasons: to not offend some of their allies by voting no, to not offend other allies by voting yes, not having enough of an opinion to make a complete decision, or having a mixed opinion within their own borders. IN this way it's a "pleading the Fifth" motion, which I believe can be seen as a smart move, politically speaking. Just like the 2-party struggle within the US, sometimes there are no two clear right and wrong answers.

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