The United Nations may confer new rights upon the Palestinians, but it can't bring them peace. The U.N. General Assembly's vote Thursday to upgrade the Palestinian territories to non-member observer status simply ratchets up tensions in an already overwrought region. This misguided action ensures turmoil over contested land will persist into the foreseeable future.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has labored to improve French relations with Israel, said he "can't stand" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called him a liar in a conversation with President Obama.
The U.N. Security Council took its first official step Wednesday to consider the Palestinians' request for U.N. membership.
Israel's government on Tuesday granted the go-ahead for construction of 1,100 new housing units in occupied east Jerusalem, raising already heightened tensions fueled by last week's Palestinian move to seek membership in the United Nations.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas strongly suggested Saturday that he would reject a peacemaking blueprint put forward by international mediators, saying he would not agree to any proposal that disregarded Palestinian conditions for the resumption of peace talks.
President Obama on Wednesday sought to head off a diplomatic crisis in the Mideast.
Republican presidential contender Rick Perry said Tuesday that the decision of Palestinian leaders to seek statehood through the United Nations is proof that President Obama has badly mishandled the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Israel faces a "diplomatic tsunami" that could erode its international support and bolster its enemies in the Middle East, the Jewish state's defense minister said this week.
The Obama administration said Thursday that it was close to securing an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume direct peace talks. Some U.S. officials said an announcement could be imminent.