After more than 60 years of dispossession, 40 years of occupation and 20 years of failed peace processes, the Palestinians went to the United Nations to demand justice.

Professor Joseph Massad, Modern Arab Politics, Columbia University
Nadia Hijab, director of Al-Shabaka Palestinian Policy Network
Mouin Rabbani, senior fellow at the Institute Palestine Studies
Professor Rami Khouri, International Affairs, American University

They asked the UN Security Council to recognise their state on the part of their homeland that has been occupied since 1967.

Whilst Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' speech was dubbed historic and generated much heat in the UN General Assembly, the excitement did not last long.

Israel called the move a potential "train wreck", the US threatened to veto the initiative, and the Europeans scrambled for more of the same phased process. It seemed that the lectures about democracy and freedom in the Arab world did not apply to Palestine.

Professor Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine
R. Nicholas Burns, Diplomacy, Harvard University
Professor Mustapha Kamel al-Sayyid, Political Science, Cairo University

This month's episode looks at the motivation behind the Palestinian step to seek international involvement. Was it tactical or strategic? Was it thought through carefully and what are the ramifications after the US and the international Quartet defused it?

And with expanding illegal settlements and the sweeping changes in the Arab world, Empire examines how the Arab Spring could alter the balance of power with Israel and what that means for Palestine and the two-state solution.

Empire finds out.

Click here to read the transcript of this episode.

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Source: Al Jazeera