Making Sense of the Palestinian Bid for UN Statehood

By Katherine White, Staff Editor

On September 23, 2011 Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority and chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization, appealed to the United Nations to recognize Palestine as its 194th member state. Many consider his bid for nationhood at the UN as a logical step in establishing the independence of Palestine, but the resolution will fall flat. The day before Abbas announced his bid at the UN General Assembly President Obama made clear that the U.S. will veto it, contrary to his call for a Palestinian state at the UN exactly one year ago. With the UN Security Council veto inevitable, Palestine will most likely retain its status as a non-member observer state that will do little to progress its goal of an independent country. Notably, the U.S. stance on Palestinian UN statehood reveals contradictory foreign policy on the Middle East that at once supports democratic sovereign states (read Arab Spring) and then stymies it.


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