Friday Puzzler: Why Oppose Palestinians’ UN Bid?
Why are Israel and the United States so opposed to the UN granting Palestinians non-member observer state status?
Yesterday the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to grant Palestinians non-member observer state status. Israel and the United States (along with seven other smaller states) voted against the measure despite the fact that the largely symbolic vote offers Palestinians few real benefits. At most, Palestinians will now be able to participate in General Asembly debates and possibly join some UN Agencies and the ICC, but not more than that. Benjamin Netanyahu claimed yesterday that UN recognition would push the peace process backwards and delay the establishment of a Palestinian state. It’s not clear, however, why this would necessarily be the case.
So today’s puzzler is this: Why is Israel (under Netanyahu) opposed to granting the Palestinians observer state status at the UN, and why have the Palestinians (under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) continued to pursue it?