Israel caused a bit of international friction today as it blocked delegates from Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia and Malaysia at a border crossing, citing the fact those nations do not recognize the state of Israel. The delegates were there as part of meeting to forward the Ramallah Declaration which would give Palestine increased recognition in the UN and explicitly condemn West Bank settlements.
Unlike the UN Security Council, where the US has threatened to veto any advance of Palestinian statehood the General Council is thought to be more sympathetic to the Palestinians. It could grant the Palestinian state access to the UN Criminal Court among other institutions. From there the Palestinians could theoretically try to go after West Bank settlers in court.
Israel and the US have rejected the UN route to statehood instead favoring direct negotiations. Polls conducted suggest the majority of Palestinians however favor UN action. What the next step will be from here remains a mystery but Jewish news agencies around the world are waiting eagerly to here for the Palestinian or Israeli governments.
The issues comes on the heels of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel in which he accidentally insulted Palestinians by claiming that poverty there was a result of culture not occupation.