Palestine Upgraded From an “Entity” to a “Non-Member State”

By Amira Al Hussaini

The upgrade of Palestine from an “entity” to a “non-member state” at the United Nations received a lukewarm reaction from netizens – who asked what a ‘symbolic’ gesture like recognising Palestine at the United Nations would do to Palestinians, particularly those living under Israeli occupation and refugees.

From Gaza, Lina Al-Sharif screams:

@livefromgaza: Ramallah is not my capital, Jerusalem is. And ALL of Palestine is my homeland. NO to #Palestine194

Adam Al Aqqad asks:

@Abou_Charlie: Who does #Palestine194 serve? ‘48 Palestinians? [West Bank] Palestinians? Gazan Palestinians? Palestinian refugees?

And he adds:

@Abou_Charlie: Remember, at it’s core, the Palestinian struggle is one of refugees. Our struggle ends with the rights of refugees. #Palestine194

Palestinian Doc Jazz tweets:

@docjazzmusic: Symbolic? We are already drowning in symbolism. Give us back our land, our rights, our freedom, not a ‘symbolic’ gesture u call a ‘state’.

And he adds:

@docjazzmusic: While they support ‘Israel’ politically, economically & militarily, they support Palestine symbolically. And we’re supposed to cheer.

Ahmed Shihab-Eldin notes:

@ASE: So, the UN now recognizes Palestine as a state while recognizing also that Israel Occupies the West Bank & Gaza. Hmm.

At the UN General Assembly meeting last night, 138 countries technically voted in favour of naming Palestine the world’s 194th state by accepting its status as a non-member state at the world body.

The UN GA President Vuk Jeremić tweets:

@UN_PGA: The #Palestine bid is approved by @UN #UNbid Yes – 138 No – 9 Abstain – 41

He shares a copy which lists the countries which voted yes and no and those who abstained from voting [see image below in original article- link can be found at the bottom of the page}

The countries that voted against the motion were Israel, Canada, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Panama, the Czech Republic and the United States - giving netizens the chance to learn about some of the countries they have never heard of before.

Israeli Maya Norton quips:

@mayanorton: This is the most press I've ever read on Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands & Micronesia. It's almost like it was a PR decision.

Criticism flew in all directions and no one was spared. Some were not convinced about the UN itself - and the role it plays. Muiz shares his thoughts on how he feels about the UN:

@muiz: UN is a shining beacon of why words are so hollow & actions substantive. So much verbal support for #Palestine - so little tangible action

The US too got its fair share of criticism. Samar Dahmash Jarrah tweets:

@ArabVoicesSpeak: As often, the USA will stand on the wrong side of history #UNBID

And Iraqi Mina Al-Oraibi finds Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi giving a speech at the same time as the vote as unacceptable. She tweets:

@AlOraibi: Cannot believe Egyptian President chose to air his interview at same time of vote on Palestine! Talk about unacceptable

And she continues:

: From decades, Arab Presidents and politicians abuse the Palestinian cause - sad to see Morsy is no less inconsiderate.

In Bethlehem, George Hale shares this photograph [above], which shows Palestinian leader Mahmood Abbas’ UN speech screened on a separation wall with Israel:

@georgehale: Photo – Scene in Bethlehem where Abbas’ UN speech was screened on Israel’s wall

From Ramallah, Rania Zabaneh tweets scenes of celebration:

@RZabaneh: And the #UNBid party goes on in Ramallah: Everyone is cheering to the tunes of “i3linha ya sh3bi” [Translation: Announce it, My People]. Picture:

Overall, however, there was a positive vibe online. Just before the vote, Dima Khatib notes:

@Dima_Khatib: Regardless of effectiveness of #UNBid: beautiful support for Palestine by majority of nations in the world, against the will of Israel/US

Meanwhile, in Israel, Joseph Dana tweets:

@ibnezra: In a country of roughly 7 million people, around 500 Israelis are protesting, in Tel Aviv, in favour of Palestine Statehood at the UN now.

and he later jokes:

@ibnezra: Breaking: Vatican angry that Palestine will soon encroach on its unique and ultimately feckless status at the United Nations

For more on the conversation, check out the hashtags #Palestine194 and #UNBid.

Further Reading:

Reuters: Q+A-What’s all the fuss about a Palestinian U.N. upgrade?

Source: Global Voices