A Scandal over Palestine issue
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 5Georgia voted for granting Palestine a new status at the UN session in New York. Georgia was among 138 countries that supported granting a non member observer status to Palestine. This is in stark contrast to 9 that did not– most notably the United States, Canada, Czech Republic and of course Israel. Two opinions formed in Georgia immediately after the vote. According to one opinion, Tbilisi made the wrong choice by damaging Georgia’s interests and possibly creating problems in its relations with Israel and the US. Another opinion states that nothing special has taken place and Georgia’s move is justified. There is yet another position, which considers that this vote is much ado about nothing. In the resolution adopted by the UN granting Palestine observer status, 138 countries voted yes, 41 abstained and nine were against. Aside from the countries previously mentioned, Panama, the Marshal Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau voted against this resolution. Among the notable supporters were France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Armenia, Azerbaijan and others. Ukraine did not participate in the voting at all, whereas the Baltic countries, Germany, UK, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and many others countries abstained.
The major issue being discussed in Georgia is why Georgia voted for the resolution and why it did not abstain. Those who consider this step by the Georgian government to be a mistake bring forth several arguments. First of all, Georgia took a step that was not in line with the position of its strategic partner the US. Second, Georgia complicated relations with one of its most devoted allies - Israel.
Georgia’s step might deteriorate its position with regard to the Georgia’s Russian occupied territories. It became soon after the vote that the Israeli foreign minister's visit to Georgia was delayed without explanation. The Israeli embassy in Tbilisi expressed its position. Those who think Georgian diplomacy took the right step consider that it will not influence Georgian-Israeli relations and there is no relation between the recognition of Georgia’s breakaway territories at all. It is considered as well that support of this resolution granted Georgia ultimate support from the Arab countries in not recognizing Georgia’s breakaway territories as independent states. Overall, inside the public there is prevailing position that Georgia should have abstained from the voting altogether. Therefore, it would prove its neutral position and avoid any kind of complications in any direction.