Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas assumed the chairmanship of the largest bloc of countries at the United Nations on behalf of “the State of Palestine” on Tuesday in New York City.

The United Nations announced the handing over of the gavel to the Palestinians as a “Historic Moment” in their headline. UN General-Secretary Guterres lauded the Palestinians, saying, “You are well-placed to take up the chairmanship of this important group of countries.”

“Palestine” will be able co-sponsor proposals and amendments, make statements, and raise procedural motions.  They will have these extra rights for the duration of its chairmanship which will last the full year.

The Group of 77 is a consortium of 134 developing countries that often work together in the UN General Assembly. The body was originally founded in 1964 with 77 countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Thailand and India. Over the years, it has grown to include countries such as South Africa, Qatar, Cuba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Singapore, and Angola, and currently represents some 80 percent of the world’s population.

Abbas’s sweet talk, lies and deception

President Mahmoud Abbas basked in the adulation of the United Nations as he accepted the gavel on behalf of his country. Even though Abbas won’t be at the United Nations, leaving that to his UN Ambassador, he clearly wanted the limelight on this occasion.

Abbas said: “I am pleased to take over today the chairmanship of the Group of 77 on behalf of the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine.”

“It is a great responsibility that the State of Palestine will bear with complete humility, sincerity and dedication,” he claimed.

“People are the real treasure for nations,” Abbas said, “and real and sustainable development can only be achieved when opportunities are enhanced to ensure for all people, full and free participation in all relevant matters in life”.

He stated that under the guiding principle of “unity in diversity”, the G77 focus on the least developed countries, small island developing States, middle-income countries, and peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, “so as to ensure no one is left behind.”

These are all great quotes, but they are coming from the man is serving the 14th year of his five year term, which would make him a dictator if he was the head of any other country. He has clearly shown he does not care about the Palestinian people. His administration incites terrorism, syphons funds from international aid to buy himself a £50 million private Jet last year. Not to mention his support for terrorism, payments to terrorists and his anti-Semitic views.

As to be expected, Abbas took the opportunity to attack Israel, saying, “Israel’s continued colonization and occupation of the State of Palestine undermines our development and capacity for cooperation, coordination and obstructs the cohesive future development of all peoples of the region,” he told the gathering.

Abbas also stated that the Palestinians “are committed to international law and legitimacy and the peaceful resolution of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict.”

In his remarks on Tuesday, he also condemned terrorism “in all its forms, colours, and types” regardless of who perpetrates it.

“Terrorism is terrorism. We must all condemn it,” Abbas said.

Again these would be great words to hear if they weren’t coming from the mouth of someone who has vowed to “never stop” paying money to Palestinian terrorists who have killed Jews.

Why is “Palestine” heading up this powerful UN voting bloc?

Last October, the UN General Assembly voted by an overwhelming majority to temporarily grant the “State of Palestine” additional rights and privileges as it leads the G77 in 2019.

Shamefully, the United Kingdom voted in favour. Only Israel, the US and Australia voted against the bill.

We strongly believe it was a mistake for the UK to support this. By doing so, the UK is rewarding the Palestinians with a position of power that they have not earned (and by UN rules, should not be allowed to obtain). This kind of support works against bringing the Palestinians to negotiate peace with Israel and rewards Palestinian terrorism.

Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour said, “We will be negotiating on behalf of 135 countries.” You will note that there are only 134 countries in the bloc, however, Mansour has included the non-existent country of “Palestine” in that number.

“They’re still denying we are a state,” Mansour said, referring to Israel and the US. “We walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”

Except they are not a state.

The UN General Assembly in 2012 voted in favour of granting Palestine “non-state observer status.”

Seeing as the Palestinian “non-state” holds such a low position at the United Nations it should be quite surprising they have garnered this high position. However, based on the anti-Israel attitudes at the UN, it is par for the course.

The New York Times writes, “Symbolically at least, the choice of Palestine as the Group of 77’s leader is a diplomatic rejoinder to Israel and the United States in the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a political advance for the Palestinians.”

It is a clear slap in the face to both Israel and the US and as you would expect this latest move is being hailed as a “historical first” and a “tremendous political boost” to the Palestinians.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, on the other hand, expressed misgivings about the move.

“The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations,” he told the Times of Israel. “It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement. This will not promote the G-77’s goals, and encourages the Palestinians to not engage in negotiations for peace.”

The US and Israel have long shared the view that moves like this were counterproductive to efforts to reach a lasting peace agreement. This is because the Palestinians seek recognition from the international community in order to bypass having to negotiate peace with Israel.

We have no doubt that Mansour will use his new position to attack Israel and wield the power of the voting bloc to demonise the world’s only Jewish state even more than he has in the past. We can’t help but think that come January the world’s most anti-Semitic global body will be just that little bit more hostile to Israel.

“Multilateral” swipes at Trump

The key word of yesterday’s handover ceremony was “multilateral”.

It was clear that this term was used as a veiled attempt to take swipes at “unilateral” actions by the Trump Administration, such as cutting funding to the UNRWA and the Palestinians, nixing the Iran Deal and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. All of these moves have been praised by CUFI and pro-Israel Christians, but they have been a major source of frustration to the United Nations.

UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres stressed that multilateralism continues to come under “intense pressure from many sides”, but praised the G77 and China for standing to defend it.

“The Group of 77 and China has demonstrated strong leadership throughout 2018 and proved once again to be a central force in demonstrating that multilateralism is the only way to address our shared challenges,” said Mr. Guterres.

General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces called the handover of the presidency to the Palestinians was, “without a doubt a triumph of multilateralism and a demonstration of the important role of the most democratic and representative organ of the United Nations”, she stated.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas even got in on the act, declaring that their chairmanship was “to preserve the multilateral international order and strengthen ties with its UN partners”.

Whilst the United Nations may be frustrated with the actions of President Trump, we think the President has single-handedly had a more positive impact with dealing with Iranian and Palestinian terrorism than the United Nations has had in its entire existence.