I have no reason to be a particular fan of King Abdullah of Jordan, the head of state of a country that is nowhere near to being a liberal democracy. I am fascinated to learn today that he has come out against a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN in September. In this, he echoes the Secretary-General of the Arab League. The vile extremists of Hamas, meanwhile, would not wish to recognise Israel within any borders; such recognition would be implicit in a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in only part of Israel/Palestine - they'd be recognising Israel in the part of the territory that is not being claimed for a new Palestinian state. Indeed, any motion is likely to make such recognition explicit. It is already clear, therefore, that Hamas is not, in any simple sense, behind President Abbas' plans for a unilateral bid for statehood. I could support some upgrades to the Palestinians' status at the UN; I believe, however, that an actual unilateral declaration of statehood would not actually, legally create a Palestinian state and would set back the cause of a negotiated two-state solution. Renewed peace talks remain the best hope for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Incidentally, there is no Fatah/Hamas unity government - talks on creating one have failed, thus far.