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B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:

B’nai B’rith International condemns the U.N. General Assembly’s acquiescence to Palestinians’ demands for their flag to be flown outside United Nations headquarters despite the fact that “Palestine” does not yet exist as a state and is a non-member of the world body. The Palestinians, whose Arab and other allies control a majority of the United Nations, secured U.N. recognition as a non-member observer “state” in 2012.

119 voted for the resolution, 8 voted against and 45 abstained.

In August, the Palestinian mission to the U.N. distributed a draft resolution calling for the flying of non-member state flags. The draft resolution was apparently circulated without the authorization of the Vatican, the only other “non-member state” at the United Nations, and the Holy See asked the Palestinians to remove any mention of it from the draft.

The resolution is yet another transparent, provocative political maneuver by the Palestinian Authority, which has long evaded its obligation affirmed by relevant global actors, including the United Nations itself, to pursue aspirations only achievable through a direct and comprehensive bilateral agreement with Israel. By having their flag flown at the United Nations in advance of successful talks and mutual compromise with Israel, the Palestinians only further demonstrate their strategy of maintaining and “internationalizing” their conflict with Israel. The step is also further proof of the Palestinians’ political exploitation of the United Nations, which grants no other nationalist group the unconditional benefits afforded them.

The flags outside the United Nations represent existing countries. The Palestinian territories—part of which are controlled by the terrorist group Hamas, which is committed to Israel’s destruction—do not currently comprise a state, owing to the Palestinians’ refusal to reach a two-state solution that includes recognition of the Jewish state.

We commend the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Tuvalu for opposing a tactic of Palestinian leaders whose only purpose is to avoid meaningful engagement with Israel and to distract from failure to genuinely improve their constituents’ future.