Palestine In The UN

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 8:24am

Palestine may place a bid to become member of the U.N.

In Washington this morning there is a changing focus.

President Obama, who's been saddled with domestic issues - unemployment, the economy, the deficit, politics - is in New York today for two days of meetings at the United Nations.
One of the biggest issues there will be the Palestinian President's bid to become a member.

The President is taking a risk, acting on his own, saying years of negotiations have put Palestinians no closer to statehood.

President Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations. But there are no plans to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Encouraged, analysts say, by uprisings in Arab nations, Abbas will petition the United Nations for membership Friday. A year ago President Obama welcomed it, but not without Israel’s approval, "The only way the Israelis and Palestinians will achieve a two-state solution that's fair and equitable to both sides, that allows for a Palestinian state, that allows for a secure Jewish state of Israel, is through direct negotiations," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

The U.S. is set to veto Friday’s vote. President Obama has been criticized for lukewarm support of our longtime ally Israel. The state department says there have been intense negotiations with all sides, "No matter what does or doesn't happen this week, it will not produce the kind of outcome that everyone is hoping for," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In fact, it's already producing demonstrations in the West Bank, "The situation on the ground is what matters for the Palestinians. Will any vote actually change the situation on the ground?" said the Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, Marc Ginsberg.

The Obama Administration believes there's still time to avoid a standoff.

Tracie Potts, NBC News.

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