JERUSALEM, Israel – Thirteen countries in the United Nations on Tuesday unexpectedly changed course and voted against an annual resolution expressing support for a Palestinian UN agency accused of being anti-Israel.
For the first time, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil and Colombia voted against an annual resolution supporting the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, the UN body that oversees the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Each one of those countries had previously abstained from the vote.
The text of the resolution calls for the committee to “make a constructive and positive contribution to raising international awareness of the question of Palestine and of the urgency of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine in all its aspects.”
The resolution passed by a vote of 87 for and 23 against, with 54 abstentions.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz applauded the countries who changed their vote, and said the Division for Palestinian Rights “represents the structural discrimination against Israel in the UN arena and uses UN manpower and budgetary resources to promote a Palestinian narrative while simultaneously encouraging a distinctly anti-Israel agenda.”
“I am pleased that this significant group of countries has decided today to voice a clear moral stance against discrimination toward Israel at the UN,” Katz said in his statement. “This represents an important step in the long struggle against the prejudiced bias toward Israel at the United Nations. Particularly noticeable is the shift in the stance of several member states of the European Union and I trust that the remaining EU members will adopt this position soon.”