The United Nations General Assembly voted on November 29, 2012 to make Palestine a non-member observer state. Among the UN members, 138 states, including the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) voted in favour of the motion, while nine countries, including the US and Israel, voted against it. As many as 41 nations abstained from voting.
At the voting, the European nations deserted the Israel-US lobby. In Europe, Czech Republic, a long-time Israel ally, was the only state that voted against the motion. All prominent European nations including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway and Denmark snubbed Israel. Such was the change of mood of the international community, which now perceives the rising Israeli haughtiness as growing atrocities on the hapless Palestinian people, that even the traditional US lackeys such as Singapore and Australia abstained from voting. The Philippines, long-derided as a client state of the US, voted for Palestine, leaving Israel and the US isolated.
Israel and the US opposed the motion for the fear that Palestine, after its status was upgraded by the UN, would join institutions such as the International Criminal Court. Joining it will enable Palestine to haul Israel to the court at The Hague for war crimes.
The recognition for Palestine came exactly sixty-five years after the UN General Assembly recognised the state of Israel. The voting held in 1947 had called for a partition of the erstwhile Palestine, then under British rule, into Jewish and Arab states. The Arabs were outraged by the decision, and started a war that they lost. The story of the region has been pretty much the same ever since, with the enmity between the two sides showing no signs of abating.
Now, the latest vote recognises a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the lands Israel had captured in the 1967 Mideast War. This represents a far smaller area than the Palestinians were offered in 1947, when the UN passed Resolution 81. The Resolution had called for the partition of the Palestinian Mandate into two states, as mentioned earlier. As many as 33 countries had voted in favour, 13 against and 10 had abstained.