NEWS: Donor states reaffirm the Palestinians are ready for independence.In bringing the resolution of the conflict back to the UN, Palestinians are returning it to its roots. Palestinian officials say a US government document presented last week persuaded them they had no other option. Intensive diplomacy to avoid a confrontation continues. A new poll suggests most Palestinians support the UN gambit but fear its consequences. AP notes that Palestinians have done much to create the infrastructure of their state in spite of the occupation. The US and European states are reportedly urging Israel not to take any drastic measures in response. Israel's UN ambassador says it's unclear there's a majority in the Security Council requiring a US veto, and Portugal remains undecided. Israel fears even a nonmember UN observer Palestinian state could use international legal enforcement mechanisms against it. Settlement expansions anger Palestinians, but are not enough for settlers. COMMENTARY: Tom Friedman says Israel is become totally isolated and gives its friends no means to defend it. Aaron David Miller says the UN controversy is a distraction from the real problem, which is the inability to reach a peace agreement. Israel's UN ambassador says Palestinians should return to negotiations with Israel. John Hughes says Israel needs a peace deal more than ever. Yossi Sarid says Jewish Americans shouldn't be more “patriotic” than Israelis. Jeff Barak says PM Netanyahu is gambling with his country's future. Afshin Molavi says the UN gambit will bring the Palestinians no closer to independence. Raghida Dergham says Palestinians would be wise to avoid the Security Council and instead seek support in the General Assembly. The Daily Star says anyone who claims to support peace but opposes Palestinian statehood at the UN is "either a coward or a liar." Wendy Chamberlain says the US should understand the real threat of a Security Council vote is not to Israel but to its own standing and interests in the broader Middle East.

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