This week the UN General Assembly voted in favor of marking 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The decision was passed by the international body by a wide margin, sparking sharp criticism by the Israeli delegation.
Member states adopted the decision with 110 voting in favor, seven against with 56 abstentions. Joining Israel in voting against the resolution were the US, Australia, Canada, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.
A similar voting trend was recorded on five more draft resolutions, among them calling on Israel to halt construction in the West Bank, calls for the convening on an international peace conference in Moscow and demands on Israel to retreat from the Golan Heights.
“We cannot afford to lose the current moment of opportunity,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a message special meeting held at UN Headquarters read on his behalf at a special meeting held at UN Headquarters to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, observed annually on 29 November.
The day marks the date in 1947 when the General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning then-mandated Palestine into two States, one Jewish and one Arab.
“I ask all in the international community to work together to translate the solidarity expressed on this occasion into positive action for peace and justice,” Ban added, referring to talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that restarted this summer under US brokering.
“The goal remains clear – an end to the occupation that started in 1967 and the creation of a sovereign, independent, and viable State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, living side by side in peace with a secure State of Israel.”
Israel promptly blasted the resolutions, with its ambassador Ron Prosor saying the occasion created a sense of déjà-vu, because of the repeated allegations against his country during the observance and during the year.
“This debate may take place only once a year, but anti-Israel bias pervades the UN system all year round,” Prosor said, accusing the international body of being a “rubber stamp to the Palestinian whims.”
“Where is the solidarity with the Jewish terror victims,” asked Prosor. “While the Palestinians ask the UN for solidarity they continue to educate an entire generation to hate Israel and deny the Jewish People’s connection to its homeland.”
Despite pressure by Israel and the US, the UN General Assembly voted last year to accept the Palestinian Authority as a non-member observer state.