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UN General Assembly Backs Palestinian Bid for Membership

Delegates react to the results during the United Nations General Assembly vote on a draft resolution that would recognize the Palestinians as qualified to become a full UN member, in New York City, US, May 10, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday backed a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member by recognizing it as qualified to join and recommending the UN Security Council “reconsider the matter favorably.”

The vote by the 193-member General Assembly was a global survey of support for the Palestinian bid to become a full UN member — a move that would effectively recognize a Palestinian state — after the United States vetoed it in the UN Security Council last month.

The assembly adopted a resolution with 143 votes in favor and nine against — including the US and Israel — while 25 countries abstained. It does not give the Palestinians full UN membership, but simply recognizes them as qualified to join.

The resolution “determines that the State of Palestine … should therefore be admitted to membership” and it “recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably.”

The Palestinian push for full UN membership comes seven months into a war between Israel and Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“We want peace, we want freedom,” Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the assembly before the vote. “A yes vote is a vote for Palestinian existence, it is not against any state. … It is an investment in peace.”

“Voting yes is the right thing to do,” he said in remarks that drew applause.

Under the founding UN Charter, membership is open to “peace-loving states” that accept the obligations in that document and are able and willing to carry them out.

“As long as so many of you are ‘Jew-hating,’ you don’t really care that the Palestinians are not ‘peace-loving’,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, who spoke after Mansour, told his fellow diplomats. He accused the assembly of shredding the UN Charter — as he used a small shredder to destroy a copy of the Charter while at the lectern.

“Shame on you,” Erdan said.

An application to become a full UN member first needs to be approved by the 15-member Security Council and then the General Assembly. If the measure is again voted on by the council it is likely to face the same fate: a US veto.

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told the General Assembly after the vote that unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground will not advance a two-state solution.

“Our vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood; we have been very clear that we support it and seek to advance it meaningfully. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that statehood will only come from a process that involves direct negotiations between the parties,” he said.

The General Assembly resolution adopted on Friday does give the Palestinians some additional rights and privileges from September 2024 — like a seat among the UN members in the assembly hall — but they will not be granted a vote in the body.

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a status that was granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

They are represented at the UN by the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank. Hamas ousted the Palestinian Authority from power in Gaza in 2007. Hamas — which has a charter calling for Israel‘s destruction — launched the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered Israel‘s assault on Gaza.

Erdan said on Monday that, if the General Assembly adopted the resolution, he expected Washington to cut funding to the United Nations and its institutions.

Under US law, Washington cannot fund any UN organization that grants full membership to any group that does not have the “internationally recognized attributes” of statehood. The United States cut funding in 2011 for the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, after the Palestinians joined as a full member.

On Thursday, 25 Republican US senators — more than half of the party’s members in the chamber — introduced a bill to tighten those restrictions and cut off funding to any entity giving rights and privileges to the Palestinians. The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, which is controlled by President Joe Biden’s Democrats.

The post UN General Assembly Backs Palestinian Bid for Membership first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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