Asking for UN membership right away, instead of first asking the GA for recognition as a state, is a big mistake. The application for membership has to be submitted to, and approved by, the Security Council, which may not do so even WITHOUT a US veto. (it is a touch and go.) Non-approval will be a setback, and even an approval but with a US veto will not be useful because the SC will delay it to the max (35 days) during which the whole issue will lose momentum. In any case, what is the point of this approach if the SC is ultimately not going to approve the request because of a certain US veto? I hope SOMEONE can explain this to me. Abbas should have instead requested the GA to approve his independent state based on the 1967 borders, which he surely would have gotten, and become a non-member of the UN. Membership could come later, as Israel's did about a year after Independence. This would have enabled the internationally recognized state of Palestine to join UNESCO and other international bodies. But most importantly, it could join the ICC, and have any Israeli official involved in settlements indicted on a war crime, which would have forced the end of the settlement enterprise. It would have opened the way to sincere negotiations with Netanyahu because the latter would not have had anything to gain from a delay.
Exit polls predict Portugal's center-right coalition set to win election (Reuters)