Even Abbas agrees today that the 1947 Arab rejection of the UN Partition Resolution was a mistake. He also believes that Intifadah II, the armed rebellion, was a mistake. (Gandhi and Martin Luther King must be smiling from on high.) And now we see Abbas himself acting as a diplomatic fool. Asking for UN membership right away, instead of first asking the GA for recognition as a state, was a big, foolish mistake. The application for membership had to be submitted to, and approved by, the Security Council, which was sure to fail because of a certain US veto. 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 state observer in 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 every 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. Would Abbas do it even now, after his first false move? Somehow, he fails to declare this obvious step. Moreover, a reconciliation with Hamas before the GA acts is not going to help even though Hamas has modified its totally rejectionist attitude. How can a people be so incredibly inept? I believe this is based on a larger cultural failure, but will not elaborate now.
Army: Blast in Korean DMZ wounds two South Korean soldiers (Reuters)