French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has confirmed today that France will vote in favor of upgrading Palestine to “non-member observer state” status at the UN General Assembly, a vote expected later this week.
Israeli officials insist the French endorsement is “no surprise” but it further harms their claims that while a vast majority of the General Assembly is expected to vote in favor of the bid, more influential countries will form a “moral majority” against it.
That “moral majority” is looking pretty small at this point. Other than the US and Israel there are very few certain “no” votes at this point, with even Australia backing off their planned opposition to the upgrade and now saying they will simply abstain. Britain has also reportedly offered to vote “yes” if the Palestinian Authority promises to never use the International Criminal Courts to pursue Israel for war crimes related to the occupation or the assorted invasions of Palestinian territory.
The vote was never expected to be close, with both Russia and China backing such a plan and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), itself virtually a majority of the General Assembly, also endorsing Palestinian statehood. Of nearly 200 voting members, the number of “no” votes may wind up in the single digits.