The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade Palestine to a non-member observer state.
The vote Thursday, November 29, was 138 to 9, with 41 countries abstaining. The Palestinians had been expected to win the vote, which is largely symbolic, handily.
Cheers erupted in the General Assembly, and leaders on the floor embraced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas following the vote, which came after contentious speeches by Abbas and Ron Prosor, the Israeli envoy to the United Nations.
Abbas called the vote the “last chance to save the two-state solution,” while Prosor said the “resolution does not advance peace.”
Few benefits accrue to the “observer state of Palestine” that the Palestine Liberation Organization, the non-member entity until Thursday, did not already have.
Membership in constituent U.N. organizations is still not automatic, and “Palestine” must apply for membership in each, as it did when the PLO was a non-member entity.
“Today’s unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace,” U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said in floor remarks after the speech. “This resolution does not establish Palestine as a state.”
Israel, the Obama administration and congressional lawmakers have indicated that there will not be immediate penalties for the successful Palestinian bid for statehood recognition.
Instead, Israel and the United States will wait to see whether the Palestinians use the vote as cover for renewing peace talks with Israel — a longtime Israeli and U.S. demand — or whether it now will seek membership in the U.N. court system and attempt to bring charges against Israel. In the latter case, Israel and the U.S. plan to consider imposing financial penalties on the Palestinian Authority.
A Palestinian bid last year to gain full U.N. membership failed when the bid died in the U.N. Security Council. Non-member observer status needs only General Assembly approval.
(From JTA Report, November 29, 2012)
Diller Teen Awards
Teens can win $36,000 for community service.
Nominations are now open for the annual Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards. As many as ten teens will be selected to receive $36,000 each in recognition of their volunteer service projects.
The Helen Diller Family Foundation started these awards in California in 2007 and this year just announced the national expansion, doubling the number of recipients. Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller has made it her commitment to empower the next generation of Jewish leaders.
Teens can be nominated by teachers, community leaders, rabbis or anyone who knows the value of their volunteer service and commitment — except family members. The young Jewish teens can also nominate themselves.
To enter, teens must complete the simple online nomination form at www.jewishfed.org/teenawards/process. For more information: www.jewishfed.org/diller/teenawards; (415) 512-6437; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park Terrace Holds December Toy, Clothing and Food Drive
Giving back to the greater community is a priority for the residents at Park Terrace, a Kisco Senior Living Community.
“The residents at Park Terrace are active and engaged in so many worthwhile charitable pursuits,” said Ryan Golze, executive director for the community. “Not only are the activities enjoyed by all, the opportunity to contribute is very fulfilling to both the residents and the staff.”
One of the charities the community regularly supports is South County Outreach who works with under-served Orange County families in transition. Monthly events such as a “Winter Coat Drive” in September collected coats, winter jackets and new shoes. School supplies were collected in August and a large drive is scheduled for December to include everything from toys and clothing to food and money. There are so many more endeavors all year long, and the residents find participation to be exciting and very worthwhile. Donations are always accepted and can be dropped off at Park Terrace, located at 21952 Buena Suerte, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688.
More information about Park Terrace or the charity drives may be obtained by calling (949) 888-2250 or visiting www.LifeatParkTerrace.com.