Yesterday the United Nations General Assembly voted 119-8 in favour of allowing non-member flags to be raised outside its New York headquarters, including such states as Palestine and the Vatican. The US and Israel voted against… the latter describing the plan as nothing more than a photo opportunity.
The UK, despite being in favour of the two-state solution, voted against. This is how Tom Meek, the UK’s deputy political co-ordinator, explained the stance:
The United Kingdom Government decides its voting position based on the text of each resolution. It has traditionally been the case that only flags of United Nations Member States are flown at the Headquarters. Despite our long-held support for the creation of a Palestinian state, we have not been provided with any compelling reason to justify changing this longstanding practice. Therefore, we have chosen to abstain on this resolution.
Sometimes it’s hard not to think of British diplomats as old buffers at a club, ready with a history lesson, rule book and the black ball.