Supporters of Israel demonstrate to oppose Palestine’s U.N. bid

Pro-Israel protesters line up in front of the foreign ministry, known locally as Casa Amarilla, to urge rejection of a request by Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations. A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulseh Kasper

Dozens of protestors gathered Thursday outside of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, also known as the Casa Amarilla, in San José to voice their dissatisfaction with the potential membership of Palestine in the United Nations.

They chanted slogans such as “Israel has the right to exist” and “We don’t support terrorism.” The gathering was organized by a movement called Paz en Tierra Santa, and similar events took place in various Latin American countries.

The demonstrations came on the eve of when a final draft of a U.N. Security Council committee report studying possible Palestinian membership is planned to be presented to the full council, and a little more than a week after Costa Rica’s chancellor during a general meeting of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization lent support for Palestine as a member.
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, seeks to have the borders of the pre-Israeli occupation in 1967, recognized as Palestinian territory by the United Nations, thus classifying Israel’s presence there as an official occupation and, in theory, obligating action to be taken by the United Nations.

To obtain membership, nine of the 15 members on the Security Council and all of the permanent members with veto power must support the cause. U.S. officials have already said they would oppose the plan, and diplomats from at least three other counties are expected to abstain from voting.

With Israel and Palestine not engaging in direct talks, protestors classified such U.N. action, as unlikely as it may be, unilateral. They said they seek a dual-state situation to be reached by means of negotiation between the neighboring enemies.

“We want a peace agreement between the two countries,” one protestor said. “They need to have a dialogue. Otherwise it’s a unilateral decision.”

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