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Palestinians Seek Full U.N. Membership46:53


The Palestinian move for full U.N. membership is rocking the diplomatic world and the stakes are high for them, for Israel, and for the United States.


A rough scene for the United States and Israel at the United Nations this week. The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is pushing through with his unilateral bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

President Barack Obama, under white hot political pressure at home, went to the U.N. yesterday to say the United States opposes the U.N. path. The U.S. will veto it in the Security Council.

But the world, the Arab world, is going another way. The US and Israel look increasingly isolated. Alone.

This hour, On Point: High stakes and consequences as Palestinians go to the UN.
-Tom Ashbrook


Jake Tapper, senior White House correspondent for ABC News.

Joe Lauria, U.N. correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Christopher Dickey, Paris bureau chief and Middle East editor for Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

Aaron David Miller, public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

From Tom's Reading List

The New York Times "This has also left the U.S. government fed up with Israel’s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the U.N., even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s."

The New Yorker "Under international law, the Palestinian case is strong but not airtight. The most oft-cited authority, the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, requires a state to have a permanent population, a defined territory, government, and the “capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” Palestine—the West Bank and Gaza, as mapped by the 1967 prewar borders with Israel—possesses the first three. Yet the unresolved divide between Hamas, which rules Gaza and seeks Israel’s overthrow, and the Palestinian Authority, which holds the West Bank and accepts Israel in principle, casts doubt on a combined Palestine’s ability to act coherently."

Wall Street Journal
"If the Palestinian Authority succeeds in winning even an incremental upgrade of its status at the U.N, it could subject Israel's military to international courts for actions in Palestinian territory—as well as allow Palestinian control of its Israeli-patrolled air space and national waters off Gaza."

This program aired on September 22, 2011.

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