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Good Reads: Is the Palestinians' quest for statehood doomed? (video)

Mahmoud Abbas says he will seek the UN Security Council and General Assembly's recognition for a Palestinian state, despite opposition from the US – and the doubts of some Palestinians.

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The French newspaper Le Monde – ever fascinated with the world of diplomacy – casts its gaze behind the closed doors, where it reports that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met in New York on Sunday to see if they could put the Middle East peace process back on track. Diplomats from the US, Europe, Russia, and the UN also were engaged in meetings, but the gap is pretty wide now. Mr. Fayyad told reporters that he and his counterpart had discussed security matters, and the Palestinian Authority's “aptitude for governance.” Mr. Barak didn’t talk with the press after the meeting with Fayyad.

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In an opinion piece in The Hindu, a leading paper in India, Chinmaya Gharekhan suggests that Abbas is likely to aim for a rather modest goal being admitted as "a non-voting non-member state status for Palestine, such as the one enjoyed by the Vatican. This would enable them to obtain membership in the specialised agencies of the U.N., which would be a huge political gain."

In South Africa's Daily Maverick, Kevin Bloom writes that "the hopes of the Palestinians have been raised already, and the theory that Abbas is bluffing may be a manifestation of wishful thinking on the part of the United States. Palestine has had to deal with two decades of failed talks, during which time the occupation and the violence has continued unabated. The new approach would seem to be an elegant solution to an old and intractable problem – it would enable the Palestinian Authority to negotiate from a position of strength, with its national boundaries recognised, thereby sidelining territorial disputes and the so-called “rights” of Israeli settlers."

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