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UNGA Committee Overwhelmingly Passes Resolution On Palestinian Self-Determination, Israel Is Unhappy

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UNGA Committee Overwhelmingly Passes Resolution On Palestinian Self-Determination, Israel Is Unhappy

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On November 19th, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee voted, and overwhelmingly approved, a draft resolution in favor of Palestinian self-determination.

The vote passed with 163 in favor, 5 against, and 10 abstentions.

As has become customary, this “anti-Israel” notion was voted against by Israel itself, and the US.

“Surprisingly” Canada, “which typically votes alongside Israel in such resolutions, stood with the majority.”

“Canada’s vote today is a reflection of our longstanding commitment to the right of self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians,” Canadian envoy Bob Rae said in an address to the General Assembly, noting the draft’s support for a two-state solution.

In Canadian parliament, Conservative foreign affairs Michael Chong demanded an explanation for Canada’s vote.

“Today, the Liberal government voted against the state of Israel at the UN General Assembly for a second year in a row, contrary to our long-standing Canadian policy of opposing all resolutions that single out Israel, a policy that former prime minister Paul Martin had put in place,” Chong said.

“Even Ambassador Rae said he disagreed with the preamble of the resolution. Why did the government break with long-standing Canadian policy and vote against the State of Israel at the UN General Assembly today?”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland did not directly address the question in her response.

“Let me just be very clear: Israel is a close and important friend of Canada, and Canada will always stand with Israel,” she said. “Let me also be very clear to Jewish Canadians in my riding and across the country: We stand with them, particularly today when we are seeing an appalling rise in anti-Semitism here and around the world.”

In addition to Israel and the US, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru also voted against the resolution.

Australia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Honduras, Kiribati, Palau, Papa New Guinea, Rwanda, Togo and Tonga all abstained.

It should be reminded that the UNGA’s Third Committee deals with human rights and humanitarian affair.

The resolution emphasized “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine” and “stressed the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,” based on a two-state solution.

It is part of a large package of 20 pro-Palestinian resolutions that are passed by the General Assembly every year.

This means that the vote will likely lead to anything.

It, however, provides chances for Israel to complain that the UN is biased.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki praised the vote, calling it “a natural response from the international community to the Israeli occupation’s violations, as well as a response to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the colonial Israeli settlements.”

The Trump Administration, which is a very avid supporter of Israel is attempting to carry out some last-ditch efforts of support for Tel’Aviv, before US President Donald Trump vacates the seat in the White House in January.

On November 19th, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the settlement in Psagot, which is part of the zone considered internationally as occupied by Israel.

He announced new US guidelines requiring all US exports from Israeli controlled areas of the West Bank to be labeled as “made in Israel,” in a reversal of decades-old policy that differentiated between both sides of the Green Line.

Prior to that, US policy has required products made in the West Bank to be labeled as such.

With Pompeo’s newly announced rules, which he said were “consistent with our reality-based foreign policy approach,” all producers within areas where Israel exercises authority — most notably Area C under the Oslo Accords – will be required to mark goods as ’Israel,’ ’Product of Israel,’ or ‘Made in Israel’ when exporting to the United States.

Pompeo insisted that the US still remains committed to achieving “sustainable peace” and will “continue to oppose those countries and international institutions which delegitimize or penalize Israel and Israeli producers in the West Bank through malicious measures that fail to recognize the reality on the ground.”

This comment is against the EU, which adopted a policy obliging all 28 member states to label exports produced in Israeli towns beyond the Green Line as having been made in the settlements.

It is notable that most experts expect incoming US President Joe Biden to be much less supportive of Israel, than Trump is, and that is expected to cause some concern in Tel’Aviv.

The Trump administration itself is likely also anxious and is attempting to do whatever it can in terms of support, in the short time span it has left.

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