NEW YORK CITY -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas officially filed an application for full membership at the U.N. Friday, defying U.S. and Israeli opposition.
For more than two years since he took office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and come to the bargaining table with no strings attached.
Abbas has refused Netanyahu's invitation, deciding his best route to statehood is to bypass negotiations and go straight to the U.N.
CBN founder Pat Robertson is issuing an urgent call to Christians to pray for the nation of Israel as the U.N considers the vote on Palestinian statehood.
When the curtain comes down on the parade of speeches, the delegates will find that little has changed on the ground. Israel will still be a Jewish state without recognition and the Quartet (U.S., E.U., U.N. and Russia ) will still be trying to restart the peace process.
While dozens of Muslim nations support a Palestinian state, some Arabs are opposed to the idea. Syrian-born Wafa Sultan is a human rights activist and political commentator.
CBN News asked Sultan what he believes is the underlying reason and motivation behind the P.A.'s effort.
"To create another Islamic country," Sultan replied without hesitation. "We have enough of those dictatorships. We don't need any more dictator countries in our region."
Many are concerned that if the Abbas mission for statehood is perceived as a failure, it could stir more unrest in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and lead to a new challenge by Hamas, the Palestinian faction controlling the coastal enclave.
In any event, the White House influence over the process has been reduced for now, and it will be difficult to find a path that would lead the Palestinians to choose diplomacy over defiance.