The Spectacle Blog

Palestinians Press UN for Statehood

By on 9.23.11 | 3:50PM

Despite brief hopes, not least by the Obama administration, that Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas would back off his drive for a unilateral U.N. declaration of Palestinian statehood, Abbas addressed the U.N. early Friday afternoon and made just that request.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke shortly afterwards, saying to the U.N. General Assembly that "the truth is the Palestinians want a state without peace and you should not let that happen."

The U.N. is the world's largest anti-Israel and anti-America group, and it is an utter travesty that we contribute so much money to an organization that could put Libya or Iran in charge of any committee, much less a human rights commission, as happened with Libya in 2003. If that's not cynical enough, last year Iran was elected to a seat on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Seriously.

The "Quartet" of countries trying to guide Israeli-Palestinian negotiations claims to have a new framework in place to restart peace talks. I'll believe it when I see it. Actually, I won't even believe it then.

The Palestinians have almost zero reason to want to enter into good-faith negotiations at this point, thanks in part to three years of President Obama's obvious pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli bias which has emboldened not just Abbas, but the regions other enemies of Israel as well.

Combining this emboldening with the regime change in Egypt and a Turkish prime minister eager to pick a fight to distract his own people from the weak Turkish economy, Abbas' Obama-fueled move brings the region closer to major conflict than at any time in a generation.

Of course, this is a domestic political disaster for Barack Obama as well, and the "Jewish vote" has been getting a lot of press, particularly since the results in the NY-9 special election to fill the seat vacated by Anthony Weiner. In that race, a Catholic Republican handily beat a Jewish Democrat in a district that is 40 percent Jewish and three-to-one Democrat. This has ominous implications for President Obama's chances of winning Florida next year, and to a lesser degree suggests trouble in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. (New York, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts have a higher percentage of Jews than those three states but it is hard to imagine these deep blue states actually being winnable for a Republican presidential candidate, even during economic times this unpleasant.)

Democratic hand-wringers will worry about the domestic implications of Abbas' move, but the real risk is an international one. By coddling our enemies and giving the cold shoulder to our friends and allies, by showing the weakness that would allow such self-destructive behavior, Barack Obama has done great damage not just to our national security but to the stability of the entire world.

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