Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has scored a major diplomatic breakthrough at the recent UN General Assembly when he presented his bid for Palestinian statehood to thunderous applause from an overwhelming majority of world leaders. Despite frantic diplomatic efforts from US President Barack Obama to prevent it from happening, the bid was submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, much to the embarrassment and discomfort of the United States and Israel, both of whom had insisted on a resolution through negotiation rather than at the level of the UN.
The United States had already indicated that it will veto the move at the level of the UN Security Council which calls into question both the relevance and the governance structure of that world body.
The time is long overdue for fundamental changes both structural and functional at the UN to allow it to be more flexible and responsive to global imperatives. For all practical purposes, the UN is perceived as a rich country club where any one of the powers at the UN Security Council can stand in the way of popular and majority support on fundamental issues affecting humanity, as in the case of the Palestinian issue which has remained unresolved for over four decades.
The United States has once again missed an opportunity to take a stance on an issue that could have resulted in lasting peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. Instead, it opted, as it has always done, to turn a deaf ear to a rising tide of international support for the Palestinian cause.
Again it has given blind support to Israel which continues to behave arrogantly under the mistaken and wrong assumption that might is right. How else can one interpret the continuing construction of settlements on occupied Palestinian lands even though negotiations on a peace plan brokered by the United States were in progress?
Little wonder there has been very little if any progress since peace negotiations commenced over two decades ago under the auspices of the United States.
One can only hope that good sense will prevail and that all parties will come to the realization that an independent Palestinian state along the lines of the 1967 borders and a recognition of the right of Israel to exist is the only viable solution to the problem.
Failure to come to terms with this reality is fraught with danger and will only prolong the crisis.