So Abbas, as moderate a Palestinian as one could hope for, achieved at the UN global recognition that there is such a thing as a Palestinian people and Palestinian state. The victory was overwhelming; 138 to 9 and not even a reliable US ally like the UK, one of the 40 abstentions, was willing to vote against it.
Israel, the US, and seven more countries voted against the recognition of Palestine as a state. There is no surprise here. Under current management, Israel does not want a Palestinian state to exist, period, even a fairly limited entity like that Rabin was ready to accept. Israel will now act, as always in violation of international law, to further sabotage a possible Palestinian state by initiating construction in a zone known as E1, which would pretty much bisect the West Bank.
Supposedly, this is retaliation for Palestine having dared to peacefully seek recognition rather than negotiate eternally with Israel with the sound of bulldozers in the background. The two state solution, if it ever was a real possibility, is totally dead.
Loathsome and unimaginative as it is, Israeli policy is not really my concern. My question is how high a price is the US willing to pay in order to continue to cater to Netanyahu's every whim. It's not just the subsidies. Now it is also clear that the issue isolates the US not just in the Middle East but everywhere. The other seven votes against recognition of Palestine included Canada as well as such world powers as Palau, Panama, and Micronesia. On the other side, every BRIC nation voted for it.
Palestinian incompetence has hurt their cause for decades. But in hindsight it has also hurt Israel, as rather than negotiate in good faith it has exploited every Palestinian misstep to its favor. The strategy has all the appearance of someone trying to run out the clock. But the UN vote proves that Israel is playing a fool's game. Only in the imagination of the Israeli right will the Palestinian issue fade away. It won't. You can't run out the clock on a problem that has no expiration date.
I don't know how it ends, but it doesn't end well. Not, at least, if Israel continues to be run by Likud and it's ultranationalist allies.