On Sept 11, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the Palestinian and Vatican flag to be raised at the UN headquarters in New York City.
The resolution allows non-member observer states to raise their flags, although the Vatican has backed away from the effort saying it will not raise the flag during Pope Francis’ visit and instead raise it later this month. They also asked to not be named in the resolution, however the Vatican’s UN Ambassador said that he didn’t object to the Palestinian proposal and respects the assembly’s decision. In May of this year, the Holy See joined over 130 countries in recognizing a Palestinian State.
— Roman Soldier (@Cheekyoziechick) September 12, 2015
The United States, Canada, Australia and Israel were among the 7 NO votes. Britain, Germany and the Baltic States abstained. Israel’s UN Ambassador says that this will not advance the prospects for peace and that this was only a “photo op”. The United States and Israel opposes recognition of a Palestinian State because it undermines a peace agreement.
— G Steve General (@authorsrgen) September 11, 2015
Some might believe that this isn’t a big deal, that it’s just a flag. What must be understood is that symbols are powerful tools in driving policies and perspectives. This is a step in the wrong direction if peace is ever truly going to come.