UNESCO members (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) overwhelmingly approved Palestinian membership in a 107-14 vote on Monday, although there were 52 abstentions. UNESCO, which is responsible for protecting historic heritage sites and promoting cultural understanding, holds little power on the international stage. But its decision to grant Palestinians membership in the organization is a symbolic victory for the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who is campaigning for international support for statehood after years of stalled negotiations with Israel. What are the ramifications for the parties involved?
Neither Israel nor Hamas has budged on long-held principles that make coexistence difficult and the prospects for lasting peace remote.