It is in some ways unfortunate that the raising of the Palestinian flag Wednesday at the United Nations attracted more notice than the speech that preceded it. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' threat before the General Assembly to ignore or annul the 1993 Oslo Accords was more a cry for attention than anything else. Having achieved the long-sought photo of the flag rising skyward, there's no real point in keeping it aloft. Abbas, after all, may have a flag — but he has no state.

Palestinians are keenly aware that Abbas, who has served more than twice as long than the four-year term to which he was elected in 2005, has little to show for his years in office. The Palestinians do not have a state. Nor do they have more sovereignty. Abbas has been unable to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into a settlement freeze.

The International Monetary Fund reports that for the first time since 2006, the Palestinian economy appears to have contracted in 2014. Abbas is a deeply unpopular figure, and has said on more than one occasion recently that he is considering stepping down.