The United Nations Can’t Vote Palestine into Existence

On May 11, the UN General Assembly voted by a margin of 143 to nine to give Palestine de-facto status as a member state. A number of European countries have also recognized a state of Palestine. But, Elliott Abrams observes, such formal recognition does not create such a state:

In the case of “Palestine,” the more people believe that it exists and must be recognized immediately, the less likely it is that a real “state of Palestine” will ever come into existence. Why? Because the chances that the prerequisites for the creation of an independent, sovereign, peaceful Palestinian state will be met decline when countries and UN bodies stop demanding them. Why bother going through the years of hard work to control violence, end terrorism, stop teaching hate in schools and mosques, build institutions, and negotiate peacefully with Israel, when the General Assembly is happy to give you a pass?

Still, that doesn’t mean this is a symbolic move without consequences:

This UN vote is not pure theater. It did not elevate “Palestine” to full membership in the United Nations, because only the Security Council can do that and a U.S. veto prevented it. But the General Assembly did upgrade “Palestine’s” presence: it is now seated among member states in alphabetical order. . . . It can do pretty much anything in the UN except vote.

Read more at National Review

More about: Palestinian Authority, United Nations

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship