138 countries voted on Thursday (November 29, 2012) to upgrade Palestine to a “nonmember observer state” of the United Nations. 9 countries voted against this move and 41 countries abstained from voting. While the vote does little to bring Palestine closer to statehood, it does give Palestine access to international legal forums to challenge Israel on its activities in West Bank. This also reveals the world’s growing sympathy towards the cause of Palestine. However, not much change is expected because of this announcement. Hamas and Fatah have their fundamental differences. A spokesman for Hamas said recently, “We do not recognize Israel, nor the partition of Palestine, and Israel has no right in Palestine…Getting our membership in the U.N. bodies is our natural right, but without giving up any inch of Palestine’s soil.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, is willing to pursue the two states UN Partition Plan of 1947, but will not open negotiations with Prime Minister Netanyahu while Israel is trying to develop the region of the West Bank. The US stand on Palestine has to undergo a metamorphosis. Rula Jebreal, of the Daily Beast writes, “The question that the US must ask is whether it wants to empower moderates or the more violent Palestinian factions. The status quo will only help Hamas and other extremist groups, and demonstrates the dysfunction and the double standards of American foreign policy in the region”. (11/29/2012) The US cannot promote cease-fire/truce as it did a week ago or curb the influence of Hamas in the region without acknowledging need for negotiations between Fatah and Israel.