This was almost certainly done to punish Israel:
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution upgrading Palestine to a “non-member observer state,” from a “non-member observer entity.”
Before the vote and in front of the assembly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this was the body’s “last chance to save the two-state solution.”
He said despite all the violence and Israeli “aggressions” and its “occupation,” Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority have insisted on harmony and have looked at the “U.N. as a beacon of hope.”
“We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is Israel. Rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of a state that must now achieve its independence and that is Palestine,” Abbas said.
Pretty words. But Hamas, who control the Gaza, do not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
The main thing this does is give them access to the International Criminal Court. Does anyone want to be on how long it will before they deluge Israel with accusations of war crimes? About ten seconds? And does anyone doubt what the result of those investigations will be?
The Palestinian Authority is pushing for recognition as a full state by the UN. They are a few votes shy of forcing the US to either accept it or veto it.
While I support the existence of a Palestinian state, eventually, I think full statehood is a bad idea, partly for reasons outlined by Fareed Zakaria:
At the end of the day, there is only one way you’re going to get a Palestinian state. And that’s if the Israelis agree to it. They have the land; they have the guns; they have the money. Palestinians may regard it as deeply unfair, and I understand that. But it is the world that we live in. The only way they’re going to get a Palestinian state is to engage directly with the Israelis.
And the only way they are going to engage with the Israelis is to get control of their own damn country, especially Gaza. Israel can not put up with being rocketed on a periodic basis. The push for full statehood is mostly a push to further isolate Israel, rather than work with them.
And that’s the key point here. The Palestinians have basically ignored every olive branch for the last 90 years. And, for all their rhetoric, the Arab nations don’t really want a Palestinian nation either. Jordan and Egypt happily occupied and oppressed areas that were supposed to be Palestinian and much of the territory that is supposed to be Palestine is still owned by Jordan, who haven’t even hinted at complying the UN mandate of … 1948. This isn’t really about a Palestinian state, which could have been created anytime in the last six decades. This is about cutting out Israel. This is about the Palestinian Authority getting their country without having to abandon their genocidal intentions.
Obama, to his credit, is siding with Israel. The indications are that he will either call for a year long “study” to delay things or veto it. France is playing their usual “the dog at my homework” game and supporting giving non-member state status. Britain seems likely to align with us. And everyone is trying to make sure this doesn’t come to a head in the Security Council.
We’ll see what happens. I haven’t been happy with Israel’s behavior lately. And at least part of the reason previous deals failed was because Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert were undermined by their own government. But we can’t agree to this transparent ploy to create a nation that is effectively at war with an ally. Thankfully, our Administration understands that.