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Palestine became a “nonmember state” at the United Nations on Nov. 29. The draft of the U.N. resolution beckoning what many perceive as a historic moment passed by a huge majority of General Assembly members: 138-9, with 41 abstentions.

It was accompanied by a passionate speech delivered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. But decades earlier, a more impressive and animated Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, sought international solidarity as well. The occasion then was also termed “historic.”

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