Bowing to the demands of the Palestinian global campaign against Israel, the United Nations will allow them to raise their flag at UN headquarters this month for the first time.
The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations says he expects “hundreds of leaders” to attend the raising of the Palestinian flag outside UN headquarters later this month.
The General Assembly last week overwhelmingly approved the Palestinian flag-raising proposal, with just eight states opposing.
Israel strongly objected to the proposal and joined seven other countries, including the US, Canada, Australia and several small island states in voting “no”; 119 nations voted “yes” and 45 abstained.
Europe was divided. France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Poland were among those voting “yes,” while Britain, Germany, the Baltic states and others abstained.
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters Tuesday that the flag will be raised September 30, the same day that Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas addresses the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN.
Last week’s vote also approved the raising of the flag of the Holy See, which is the UN’s only other non-member observer state.
Two additional flagpoles have been erected, but it’s not clear when the Holy See will raise its flag. It has said it will not do so before Pope Francis’ UN visit on September 25.
This latest request by the Palestinians is part of its international campaign to fight Israel.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor called the goal of the resolution “a photo op,” saying it will not advance prospects for peace.
“History proves to us that negotiations can be fruitful, that peace is possible, and that we can create a new reality for the people of the region,” he said. “I look forward to seeing the image of an Israeli prime minister and a Palestinian leader standing side by side, raising the flags of our two peoples, living together in peace. That will be a photo truly worth taking.”
“Unfortunately, instead of trying to guide the Palestinians down the path to peace, the international community is helping them to ride off the tracks,” he charged.
He also said that during his four-year tenure as ambassador, he has seen “hypocrisy, I have seen duplicity, and I have seen a triple standard: One for democracies, one for dictatorships, and a special standard designed only for Israel. I thought I had seen everything. But I have to admit [that] this time the Palestinians managed to take cynicism to a whole new level.”
“Make no mistake; the goal of this resolution is a photo op,” Prosor stated. The Palestinians want to bring together world dignitaries and the media to gather around and watch as [PA Chair] Mahmoud Abbas raises a flag. They plan to use the prestige of the UN as a backdrop for this charade. Surprise, surprise. They did all this in contravention of all the established rules and procedures of the United Nations.”
“Again and again, the Palestinians seem to be able to do whatever they want, and are free to act with impunity. In short, they have learned that the more they say no, the more the international community says yes to their every whim and caprice,” the Israeli envoy added.
“So it is no surprise that the Palestinians show no regard for the values of this institution, and that they cynically manipulate the UN to score political points. Time and again, the Palestinians use and abuse the UN. The sad part is that you – you in this chamber – allow them to get away with it… This Assembly would vote to declare that the earth is flat if the Palestinians proposed it.”
“Our vote reflects the reality that the parties themselves must ultimately take the constructive, responsible steps required to achieve a two-state solution and end the cycle of violence and suffering that has persisted for far too long in the Middle East,” US Ambassador Samantha Power told the General Assembly just before the vote.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff
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