TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Obama & the Palestinians: Penalty time

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
 

Now that the United Nations has overwhelmingly voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority from “observer” status to a “nonmember state observer,” nose-thumbing U.S. objections, President Obama must follow through on the penalties for this ill-advised move.

Not that the U.N. vote, 138-9 with 41 abstentions, changes any perceptions within Turtle Bay. About 130 U.N. members already regarded “Palestine” as a state, notes U.N. watchdog Brett Schaefer of The Heritage Foundation.

And never mind that the Palestinians' push for unilateral statehood “violates all existing internationally agreed frameworks for negotiating a peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” Mr. Schaefer says.

What the change in U.N. status allows is for the Palestinians to use a bigger club with which to beat Israel — for example, through membership in U.N. specialized agencies.

But U.S. law prohibits funding of U.N. agencies that allow membership to Palestinians as a “state,” which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) learned last year. That is, if the Obama administration enforces that law.

The administration also made it clear last summer that the Palestinian Authority risked losing U.S. assistance if it proceeded in its reckless course toward statehood.

In effect, the Palestinians' United Nations triumph now forces the administration's hand. We'll soon know if Team Obama is as weak and ineffectual as most think.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. CDC’s misinformation spreads faster than Ebola virus
  2. Pirates must weigh risk, reward in attempt to sign Martin
  3. Syrian border town emerges as pivot point in Islamic State fight
  4. Starkey: Chryst missed his only shot
  5. Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
  6. Pittsburgh Mills mall stability questioned
  7. Penn State succumbs to No. 13 Ohio State in double overtime
  8. Penguins rebound with shutout of Predators
  9. Pa. Supreme Court in ‘sad state’ as scandals tarnish reputation
  10. Real estate notes: Hotel going up in Chippewa; CSX honored
  11. Steelers notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders living up to his word
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.