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Their reason was the same as that of the Obama administration, which has argued that a unilateral attempt to achieve statehood through the U.N. undermines the peace process and could trigger renewed violence in the region.

Not being a recognized state “puts [the Palestinians] at a considerable disadvantage when they try to bargain with Israel,” Ellison argued. “The move we should be making is welcoming Palestinians … as a sovereign nation.”

Our opposition “will have a negative impact on our already hurting credibility,” Ellison said.

Obama said the U.S. is on the side of people who want democracy, but “our position is so opposite to our stated goals when it comes to Palestine,” Elllison said.

Indications Friday are that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intends to submit his application for statehood to the U.N. Security Council despite U.S. resistance.