A historic resolution by an overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly has upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state.” The vote on Thursday was deliberately planned to be passed on the 65th anniversary of the founding of today’s State of Israel.
Since 1974, the Palestinians have held a “non-member observer entity” status. Over the years, they have been gaining recognition. In 1998, the Palestinians were granted special rights to participate in the work of the General Assembly. Last year, under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinians failed to receive full UN membership because such a move would be subject to a U.S. veto. But being recognized, like the Vatican, as a “non-member observer state” is not subject to a veto. It only requires majority approval of the UN’s 193 members. And that’s what they did on November 29.