The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted recognize the sovereign state of Palestine, upgrading its observer status from "entity" to "non-member state." The move is viewed as a victory for Palestinians, but a diplomatic setback for the United States and Israel, who were joined by only a handful of countries in opposing the decision. With more than 190 members in the General Assembly, there were 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions. Three countries did not take part. The vote came on the 65th anniversary of the adoption of U.N. Resolution 181 that partitioned Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. "This was a referendum on the United States’s mediation of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians," says Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund and its educational program, the Palestine Center. "The vast majority of the world, I think, said yesterday that that has failed, and it’s time for a different approach."...."