On Thursday, November 29, celebrations erupted in the West Bank and Gaza when the UN General Assembly granted Palestinians recognition of statehood. Palestine is now a non-member observer state. For the first time since 1947, people can refer to the state of Palestine and wave their flags proudly. 

Our friend, Tania Kuttab, posted on Facebook, “November 29th will be recorded on my calendar as the day of good news - Cheers to the beautiful name of Palestine.”

Now is the time to celebrate and be excited with our Palestinian neighbors. November 29th granted Palestinians dignity and gave them hope. People gathered in the streets to celebrate a day that will go down in history, and watched the president of the Palestinian Authority give a speech. 

We often get caught up in the politics behind the conflict, but forget the hearts of the people. Even though this vote may not change much right now for the Palestinians, they are excited to be able to legitimately refer to the state of Palestine.

Palestinians were overwhelmingly supported by the world in the vote to grant them statehood, while the United States and Israel strongly opposed. My hope for Americans would be for them to counter the government’s negativity, and join in the excitement surrounding this major event. 

Continue to pray for the peace and healing for the people of Israel and Palestine.

Photos by Elias Halabi.