PA delegation to UN
PA delegation to UNReuters

European nations have acted “without courage" and have "capitulat[ed] to Arab intimidation and pressure" by voting in favor of, or abstaining from, the Palestinian Authority’s bid at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to be granted an upgraded status of “non-member” observer state, announced the Anti-Defamation League, upon hearing the results of the vote.

“It was more in sorrow than in anger that we watched the European nations revert back to the traditional anti-Israel, knee-jerk response at the United Nations,” asserted ADL National Director, Abraham H. Foxman. “They have acted without courage and capitulated to Arab intimidation and pressure.”

“Recently, we thought that European nations had taken a balanced position that enabled them to be a player in helping to resolve the conflict,” said Foxman. “But in failing to reject the Palestinian initiative, they again evidenced their bias and lack of objectivity.  They were intimidated at a cost, and they have lost the credibility to play a serious role in bringing the Israelis and Palestinians together.”

“While the Czech Republic distinguished itself with a principled vote against the Palestinian upgrade, the rest of Europe failed to oppose a Palestinian tactic that will only place more obstacles on the path to peace,” he added. “European governments knew exactly what was at stake with their votes, since the resolution was going to pass in any case.”

“After the Palestinians rejected the U.K. request for assurances that they would return to negotiations without pre-conditions and not complicate those negotiations even further by pursuing Israelis at the International Criminal Court, all of Europe should have stood with Israel and the United States and said, ‘No. Negotiations are the only way to statehood,’” concluded Foxman.

The League praised the United States and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for her strong statement on the U.N. floor and for her efforts to encourage other countries to follow the U.S. lead in rejecting the Palestinian Authority resolution, which was approved by a vote of 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions.

"Today's grand announcements will soon fade and the Palestinian people will wake up tomorrow to find little of their lives has changed, save (that) the prospects of a durable peace have receded," Rice said.

"This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state," she said, echoing an earlier speech made by Israeli ambassador to the UN, Ron Proser. "Today's vote should not be misconstrued by any as constituting eligibility for UN membership."

Rice affirmed that "only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and the Israelis achieve the peace that both deserve."