The Debate on a Palestinian State

Sniperphoto Agency / Demotix / Corbis

As world leaders gathered in New York City in mid-September for the annual talkfest that is the U.N. General Assembly, the hottest topic of conversation was a Palestinian proposal to apply for statehood. The Palestinians say this is their best hope of restarting stalled peace talks, but Israel has denounced the plan, arguing it compromises chances of direct negotiations. The Obama Administration has vowed to veto any resolution brought to the Security Council, but a vote in the General Assembly could give the Palestinians a symbolic victory: recognition as a nonmember observer state, similar to the Vatican. How would any outcome...