Let's Buy President Mahmoud Abbas a Chair

When the French philosopher Blaise Pascal in the mid 17th century wrote his Pensées on the human condition could he have been thinking about the Palestinians? His famous adage, "All of man's misfortunes come from one thing which is not being able to sit quietly in a room," seems to fit Palestinian political behavior admirably. Whether he is a real political moderate or not Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, has been moving around rather than sitting quietly. He took the step of requesting that the designation of Palestinian representatives at the United Nations be changed from "non-member observer entity," to  "non-member observer state of Palestine." He won a symbolic victory when the UN General Assembly on November 29, 2012, by a majority of 138 to 9 with 41 abstentions voted to approve this action.  The political aftermath of this vote remains to be decided but it is useful to examine its background. As a consequence of the Oslo Accords signed...(Read Full Post)