The UN General Assembly's recognition of Palestine as a "non-member observer state" is long overdue. Every sensible person recognises that the so-called two-state solution is the only realistic way out of the Middle East impasse. Everyone, it seems, except the US government, which continues to insist that Palestinian statehood can only come through negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.
There are times in human history when an oppressed people obtains its freedom through negotiations with its oppressor - South Africa comes to mind. But that moment usually comes only when the oppressor is under such intense pressure that the status quo is clearly no longer supportable. That generally comes as a result of years of resistance and building up strong international support. To tell the Palestinians they cannot do everything in their power to put pressure on Israel is merely to side with the unjust Israeli occupation under which the Palestinians have suffered for more than half a century. President Obama should know better.