It would seem that even an itsy-bitsy step toward the goal of a two-state solution in ex-Palestine would be welcomed in all capitals. On Nov. 29, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinian status from that of a non-member "entity" to that of a non-member "state."
The vote came on the 65th anniversary of another UN resolution that split the expiring Palestine Mandate of Great Britain into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Jewish Agency accepted the resolution, but the Arabs did not. As The New York Times put it on Nov. 30, this UN Resolution is considered by Israel as the international seal of approval for its birth.
The vote last Thursday at the UN General Assembly was lopsided: 138 countries approved, nine opposed, and 41 abstained. Apart from Canada, no other major country opposed the resolution besides the United States, Israel's protector state. In Europe, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland were among those that voted in favor. Germany abstained, which was probably the most it could do because of its Holocaust past. Britain also abstained, keeping not so far away from the United States.
Israel demonstrated once more, implicitly, that it does not favor a two-state solution. It also demonstrated once more that it has no strategic vision as to how to end its 45-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territories. And while it calls on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table "without preconditions," while it continues to build settlements in these territories, this festering problem is reduced to the level of farce.
The return of the straight-arrow Tzipi Livni to the political scene does not offer much hope, as she seems bound to lose out to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming January elections to the Knesset.