July 06, 2015 20:19 UTC

In the News

Palestinians Cheer UN General Assembly Vote

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly prior to a vote on a resolution on the issue of upgrading the Palestinian Authority's status to non-member observer state in the United Nations, Nov. 29, 2012.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly prior to a vote on a resolution on the issue of upgrading the Palestinian Authority's status to non-member observer state in the United Nations, Nov. 29, 2012.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.
 
This week, the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a “non-member observer state.” The vote came a year after the General Assembly denied the Palestinian Authority full membership. There was excitement at the UN’s headquarters in New York on Thursday as the voting came to an end.
 
“The voting has been completed. Please lock the machines…(applause).”

One hundred thirty-eight UN members voted for the resolution. Nine nations were opposed. Forty-one others chose not to vote.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the assembly before the vote. He said the Palestinian people would not accept anything less than an independent Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.  
 
“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.”
 
He added that supporters of the resolution are showing what he called their “principled and moral support for freedom and the rights of peoples and international law and peace.” 
 
The United States, Israel and seven other countries opposed the measure. American Ambassador Susan Rice spoke after the vote.
 
“Today's grand pronouncements will soon fade. And the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed, save that the prospects of a durable peace have only receded.”

The Israeli government denounced the UN decision. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the assembly vote as meaningless. Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, said the new status will not help the peace process. Yet some Palestinians say they hope the move will lead to new peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
 
Talks between the two sides were last held in September of twenty ten. The negotiations stopped when Israel refused to extend its ban on new settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory.     
 
Being a non-member observer state gives the Palestinian Authority the right to seek the help of United Nations agencies. For example, the Palestinian Authority could ask the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli actions in Palestinian territories. 
 
There was great celebration in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the General Assembly vote. Palestinians cheered, saying the vote added support to their claim of statehood. However, the cheers could soon disappear if critics of the resolution take new economic or political action against the Palestinians.
 
On Thursday, some American Senators threatened to halt aid to the UN if the Palestinian Authority uses its non-member status to bring cases against Israel to the International Criminal Court.
 
Separately, Israel could hold back tax money it collects and passes along to the Palestinian Authority. Israel could also decide to expand Jewish settlements in Arab areas.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Ukrainian from: Ukraine
12/06/2012 9:36 PM
If that brings peace in the region a step closer, it was sure worth the try. I hope the two nations find a way to co-exist without bombing each other. There’s, however, one question in the back of my mind that I just can’t figure out. Before the modern state of Israel, Palestinian Arabs lived under Turkish and British rule for CENTURIES without clamoring for statehood or even claiming to be a separate nation. How come?


by: Rõmulo from: Brazil
12/06/2012 8:35 PM
The UN is seviço of Islamic terrorists. They want to end the Western Christian religion. Unfortunately, the West is not fighting the Islamic as it should. With Barack Hussein Obama for another four years, will get even worse.


by: JAMIL from: The Far East
12/05/2012 12:50 PM
I think the decision is a reward for terrorism. So Israel is not concerned with the decision. Israel will continue to create facts on the ground. Arabs can continue to "celebrate" without any real achievement. Arabs can do what they want, as well as Israel.


by: nurko from: sarajevo
12/05/2012 11:26 AM
Really i don't know what to say ,i only can say that i heate war...The VOA english thank you a lot....


by: Mohamed from: Morocoo
12/03/2012 9:12 AM
It was a good decision. Congratulations for the palestinians and the peoples looking for freedom.


by: DR THIERNO BA from: DAKAR
12/02/2012 10:48 AM
thank's a lot Mr Ember for this new voicing we hope you"ll come back for a new voicing next week if God willing

In Response

by: Osman from: Turkey
12/03/2012 1:59 PM
Israel must know that Palistina will live forever....


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
12/01/2012 4:52 PM
`The dispute between Israel and Palastine should have long before been solved and the latter should have been given a chance in the UN. The Palastine loud cry should find a vent and an international platform. What does the Bible says: ' Give unto God what is God's for God and Ceaser's for Ceaser'. Only good fences make good neighbours. Justice should be brought international by demarcating the area between Israel and Palastine. And high walls should be built aroud both the country's borders but a cultural coexistence should be nurtured by great artists in both the countries. Thank you.


by: Kazu.I from: Japan
12/01/2012 2:37 PM
I cannot understand the United States of America and the Jewish theory at all. It is a partial opinion. The result expresses it.


by: awalludin. from: padang, indonesia
12/01/2012 12:20 PM
voa special english is a great program ang the best way to learn english....terima kasih

In Response

by: samuel from: BRAZIL
12/04/2012 1:51 PM
A lot of thanks to VOA for brings us this modern way of learning English


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
12/01/2012 12:11 PM
Please cease fire. Let's talk with each other. Let's seek the way to compromize. Let's share the grief of refugees and displaced person. Please get along with each other.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Learn with The News

  • Audio China May Be Facing Economic Slowdown

    China’s economy is growing slowly after years of strong gains. Some China watchers in the United States say the Chinese economy is slowing to a halt. They use the word stagnating. They say stagnation is a real threat unless new reforms can bring big changes to the Chinese economic system. More

  • Audio Report: Faster Speeds, Less Space on Internet

    A new report says Internet speeds around the world are getting much faster. But it warns that the sharp increase in the number of devices connected to the World Wide Web could cause problems. Solutions to this problem do exist. However, Internet service providers have not begun to use them. More

  • Audio Extremely Dry Weather Raises HIV Risk

    A new study shows a lack of rainfall may be the main reason for financial bad news in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. The study finds protecting people from financial hardship may reduce their likelihood of risky behaviors that spread HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. More

  • Solar Plane

    Video Solar-Powered Plane Lands in Hawaii after Crossing the Pacific

    A plane that uses only solar power landed on the island of Oahu, Hawaii on Friday after being flown across the Pacific Ocean. The flight was the most dangerous part of the plane’s planned 35,000-kilometer trip around the world. The trip is being made without using any fuel. More

  • Audio Greek Finance Minister Resigns After ‘No’ Vote

    A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there is no reason to open talks on a new aid program for Greece; two bombings kill more than 40 people in Central Nigeria; Pope Francis begins eight-day visit to South America; and, the United States wins the Women’s World Cup. More

Featured Stories

  • Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (rear to front) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4. A new system to prevent pilots from suffering loss of consciousness is being developed for the aircraft.

    Video New Device May Help Jet Pilots

    While flying high above Earth’s surface, jet fighter pilots may suffer loss of eyesight for brief periods. Some pilots may even lose consciousness. These experiences, commonly called blackouts, can lead to tragic results. An Israeli company may have developed a device that could save pilots’ lives. More

  • Audio The Changing Face of America

    The faces of Americans in the United States are changing rapidly. In a few decades, the minority population will become the majority, as the white population decreases in the U.S. Those are the findings of a new report by the Census Bureau. More

  • People-Lewis Black

    Video Summer 2015 Brings Movies for Toddlers to Teens

    A girl's emotions star in 'Inside Out,' an animation from Pixar. 'Minions' is the story of the little yellow creatures from the 'Despicable Me' series. Don't like cartoon movies? Try "Paper Towns' based on a John Green book or 'Ricki and the Flash' starring Meryl Streep and daughter Maggie Gummer. More

  • Everyday Grammar: Beating Problems with Adverbs

    Audio Everyday Grammar: Beating Problems with Adverbs

    Some common mistakes in English happen when speakers confuse adjectives and adverbs. And some adverbs look the same but have opposite meanings. Do not fear, the Everyday Grammar expert is here to sort it all out for you. Learn why -ly usually (but not always) tells you a word is an adverb. More

  • Audio Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About the 4th of July

    Sure, you know Americans celebrate their Independence Day on the fourth day of July. But do you know they have the wrong date? Or where they get all those fireworks? Hint: not from the UK. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner
Confessions of an English Learner blog

Tell us About Our Programs