United Nations Rejects Palestinian Statehood

U.N. Security Council / AP
• December 31, 2014 9:17 am


The United Nations Security Council voted on Tuesday to reject a resolution that would have called for the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2017.

The resolution, which would have called for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, came just one vote short of passing, according to an Israel Hayom report.

The resolution needed nine votes in favor (out of 15) to pass. It fell one vote short, obtaining eight votes in favor (Russia, China, France, Jordan, Chad, Luxembourg, Argentina and Chile), two against (the United States and Australia), and five abstentions (Britain, Rwanda, Nigeria, Lithuania and South Korea). However, even if the resolution had passed, the U.S. would have vetoed it.

Before the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the leaders of three of the nations that ended up abstaining, including Rwanda and Nigeria, and asked them to not vote in favor of the Palestinian resolution.

On Wednesday morning, Netanyahu said, "I want to express appreciation and thanks to the U.S. and Australia, and also special appreciation to the president of Rwanda, my friend Paul Kagame, and the president of Nigeria, my friend Goodluck Jonathan. I spoke with both of them. They personally promised me they would not support this resolution. They stood by their word, and that is what decided this battle. This was very important for the State of Israel."

Israeli officials at the U.N. called the resolution "a preposterous unilateral proposal."

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power agreed, calling the resolution "deeply imbalanced."

"Regrettably, instead of giving voice to the aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis, this text [the Palestinian resolution] addresses the concerns of only one side. It is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel's legitimate security concerns.

"We must proceed responsibly, not take actions that would risk a downward spiral. We voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows as well — peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table. Today's staged confrontation in the U.N. Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two-state solution."