Palestine & the U.N.

Palestine & the U.N.

A panel discussion about the significance of the "non-member state observer status" recently granted to Palestine by the UN General Assembly. Panelists include Asli Bali, UCLA Law; Steven Spiegel, UCLA Center for Middle East Development; and UCLA Burkle Center Director Kal Raustiala, who will also moderate the discussion. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Near Eastern Studies, the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, and the Center for Middle East Development.

Please upgrade to a browser that supports HTML5 audio or install Flash.

Audio MP3 Download Podcast

Duration: 01:09:17



On November 29, 2012 the UN General Assembly granted "non-member state observer status" to Palestine. 138 UN member states voted in favor; Israel, the United States, and 7 other states opposed; and 41 states abstained. The vote engendered extensive debate around the world, but its significance remains unclear. What does it mean to be a "non-member state observer"? Is Palestine now a state, and if so, did the UN grant it statehood? What are the implications for US foreign policy in the region? For the prospect of peace between Israelis and Palestinians? For Palestine's participation in the International Criminal Court and other international bodies?  Join us for a discussion of these and other aspects of this historic vote, featuring Professor Asli Bali of UCLA Law School; Professor Steven Spiegel of the UCLA Center for Middle East Development, and Professor Kal Raustiala, Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. 


ASLI BÂLI is Acting Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. She teaches Public International Law, International Human Rights and a seminar on the Laws of War. She joined the UCLA faculty from the Yale Law School where she was the Irving S. Ribicoff Fellow in Law and Coordinator of the Middle East Legal Forum. Bâli’s research interests focus on public international law generally, including the intersection of international law and international relations, as well as issues of non-proliferation, human rights and humanitarian law. She also has a strong interest in the comparative law of the Middle East.

KAL RAUSTIALA is Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and Associate Vice Provost of the International Institute and International Studies.  A professor at UCLA Law School, he holds a joint appointment with the UCLA International Institute, where he teaches in the Program on Global Studies. Professor Raustiala has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Chicago, and was a fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. He serves on the editorial boards of International Organization and the American Journal of International Law, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

STEVEN SPIEGEL serves as Director of the Center for Middle East Development at UCLA, and also provides assistance to Middle East programs at the statewide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation of the University of California, San Diego. For this work, he received the Karpf Peace Prize in 1995, awarded to the UCLA professor considered to have done the most of any faculty member for the cause of world peace in the previous two years. He is also Professor of Political Science at UCLA, and studies American foreign policy in the Middle East. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1967, having joined the UCLA faculty the previous year. Professor Spiegel is also the author of a major international relations textbook, World Politics in a New Era, and he currently is part of the team preparing the fourth edition for Oxford University Press.