The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to bestow a "non-member observer state" status to the Palestinians, a symbolic step forward in the Palestinians' drive to create their own nation-state. The move was opposed by the U.S. and Israel, which have argued that direct talks between the Palestinians and Israelis are the only legitimate way to reach a two-state solution. The upgrade in status means the Palestinians can now join the International Criminal Court and become members of certain U.N. agencies. Going through the U.N. has largely been the project of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured), who has recently lost stature among Palestinians following a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the PA's more militant rival.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
Subscribe to the Week