Israel Backs Off Threats Against Palestinian UN Vote

Former Envoy: Israel 'Overreacted' to Planned Vote

by Jason Ditz, November 28, 2012

After months of ever more bellicose threats against the Palestinians in the event they carried out a vote seeking UN recognition as a non-member observer state, Israel is quickly backpedaling now that the vote may be just hours away.

With the vote expected to get overwhelming support, Israel is now downplaying its past threats of immediate sanctions and forcibly ousting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and are now insisting the vote is meaningless.

Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s former Ambassador to the UN, insists the current government overreacted to the proposed vote, saying Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz’s claim it posed a “strategic threat” and Avigdor Lieberman’s dubbing the vote “political terrorism” were “exaggerated.”

While Israel’s far-right government does tend to overreact to even minor perceived diplomatic slights, the consistency and shrillness of the threats against the Palestinian vote make it difficult for them to credibly back down, and leave a huge disconnect now that they have changed the narrative to that of a “meaningless” vote.

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