Obama & the Palestinians: Penalty time
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The revolving door: Washington’s ‘gift’
- U.N. Watch: Another jaded ‘inquiry’
- Expanding Medicaid: Gov.-elect Wolf embraces a false premise
- Sunday pops
- The regulatory state: EPA picks a fight
- Pension reform should not be linked to a natural gas extraction tax
- The Kathleen Kane chronicles: New and serious questions are being raised about the Pa. attorney general
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Obama’s Cuba deal: More appeasement