The UN General Assembly has duly voted for the admission of Palestine to observer status. It would join the Palestine Liberation Organisation with this status, though the vote once again showed that Israel remains adamantly opposed to Palestinian independence, and that it continues to enjoy the backing of the Western powers. Palestine had embarked on the path of working within the system, including moving from armed struggle to negotiating with Israel, but Israel has not only broken off negotiations, not only inflicted another attack on the Palestinians in Gaza, but also aggressively continues to pursue the policy of building settlements on Palestinian land. Paradoxically, this may have contributed to the massive support for Palestine at the General Assembly, shown in the vote: 138 in favour, 9 against and 41 abstentions.

One of the major practical consequences is that the International Criminal Court can now take cognizance of any war crimes, acts of genocide or crimes against humanity committed by Israel, and prosecute any individuals accused of such crimes. This is particularly valuable since Israeli crimes of violence against Palestinians go back to the original illegal occupation of Palestine in 1948, and continue right up to the recent attack on Gaza. Otherwise, the overwhelming support for the Palestinian membership is shown by this vote. Not only does it advance the cause of Palestinian statehood, but it also highlights how the right of the Palestinian people has still not been exercised.

Similarly, there lies in this a lesson for Pakistan, that the other problem of illegal occupation, that of Kashmir, before the UN, will not be solved until Pakistan duly fulfills its duty of providing the Kashmir cause the political, moral, and diplomatic support it needs. At the same time, Pakistan should remember that the USA is inclined to support India in its illegal occupation of Kashmir just as it does Israel in its illegal occupation of Palestine, and from support for illegal occupations, it is considered itself to be on the regrettable course of illegally occupying them also.