Long Islanders mixed on Palestinian statehood bid at UN

MINEOLA - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas today submitted an application demanding full membership for Palestinians at the United Nations, a move that has been met with mixed reactions on Long Island. Dr. Baasem Zeidan, a Valley Stream surgeon, met with Abbas last night. He says the Palestinians' push for statehood comes after a long period of fruitless negotiations.The Palestinian bid touches off a major foreign policy crisis for President Barack Obama, who has decried the move as a "shortcut" to the peace process. If he vetoes it, it could alienate the Arab world, but if he doesn't, it is bound to alienate Israel.Evelyn Rothman, of the pro-Israel women's group Hadassah, says Abbas should have negotiated peace terms with Israel before asking for a permanent seat at the U.N. Palestinians have been calling for Israel's withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders and for an end to Jewish settlements. However, Rabbi Anchal Pearl says Israel is simply asking for genuine peace talks. U.N. observers say it could take weeks or months before the issue of a permanent seat for the Palestinians is finalized.

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