The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, today is expected to make a formal request to the United Nations for the creation of a new state to be called Palestine.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, today is expected to make a formal request to the United Nations for the creation of a new state to be called Palestine. The Arab/Palestinians know this request will trigger a promised U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council, but they are nevertheless determined to give it a try.


They had previously planned to first go to the U.N. General Assembly, where they would undoubtedly have prevailed, but that would have resulted in something less than full statehood.


Some Jews, particularly those in Israel, view a Palestinian state as tantamount to the eventual destruction of Israel. Other Jews, particularly those outside of Israel, view it as a positive step toward an eventual two-state solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem. This latter group assumes that there is no hope for a one-state solution and that anything would be better for both Jews and Arab/Palestinians than the continuation of the forced unequal yoking of two peoples that keeps some 1.5 million people in what amounts, in many ways, to perpetual bondage.


For many decades it was hoped that the United States would serve as an honest broker to bring about peace. Few, if any, believe that now. The U.S. has – for many complex reasons, some of them valid –  shown itself to be radically pro-Israel and unable or unwilling to stand up to either the state of Israel or the powerful American Jewish lobby AIPAC.


It is clear that the U.S. and Israel have been outmaneuvered on this issue, and if it leads to a U.S. veto, both countries will suffer additional loss of respect and influence in the eyes of most of the rest of the world.


It should be noted that the three largest countries in Europe, as well as most of the world, believe something good will come out of Palestine becoming an independent state. There is also near unanimous agreement that this does not threaten Israel’s right to exist.


Only the future will determine whose prejudices will prevail.