Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

McGee Family Also Votes to Grant Palestinians Observer Status

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New York, November 29 (AP) – Following the lead of the United Nations, the family of Mike and Debra McGee of Flushing, New York, voted to grant the Palestinians the status of non-member observers in their household.

The measure passed 3-1 at a family meeting this morning over breakfast, just meeting the 75% requirement for passage of such a proposal. Both Mike and Debra voted in favor, with Alex, 18, opposed , Patricia, also 18, abstaining and Stacy, 15, in favor. Karl, 12, did not participate.

The vote followed weeks of intense debate among the members of the household whether to endorse the evolving Palestinian bid for statehood. While the positions of Mike and Alex were more or less clear from the beginning, Debra and Patricia had oscillated between lukewarm support and skepticism. Both reported they had been subject of heavy lobbying from supporters of Israel and of the Palestinians.

With the motion approved, the Palestinians will now have the right to participate in family meetings and possibly join various committees or groups that the McGees maintain. These include a Wednesday night poker game in which Mike plays a prominent role and a neighborhood watch program that Debra oversees, among many others.

But the status falls short of the full membership that the other family members enjoy. They will not be eligible to receive an allowance, despite the economic challenges facing the Palestinian Authority, and access to the family DVD collection will remain off limits. Similarly, family vacations will not include the Palestinian representative, but the representative will be permitted to sit in the passenger seat when any of the others drive the family car as part of the car pool for Karl’s Tuesday afternoon swimming lessons, if space is sufficient.

Perhaps most important, the delegation will not have a vote in family decision-making, which often covers areas of critical interest to, and impact on, the Palestinian issue: how to balance the individuals’ responsibilities with their privileges. The limited privileges will not offset the Palestinians’ obligation to clean the dishes every Thursday night, to take out the garbage every evening and to walk Sasha, the Labrador retriever, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

The Israeli and American administrations declined to make any official statements in advance of the vote, trying to project nonchalance, in keeping with their stated interest to minimize the vote’s impact; they believe it will be shaped by perception more than substance. “The approval of this measure would give the Palestinian cause a symbolic victory at most,” said Marshall Law of the Near East Research Department (NERD), a non-partisan think-tank, before the vote. “Of greater concern to the supporters of both sides is how events play out in the long term. If Israel is seen to ascribe great significance to this vote that in itself will cast them as losing ground – but if they shrug it off, ironically, the impact of the approval will be much more manageable.” Privately, American and Israeli sources admitted they were initially surprised to learn of the Palestinian efforts to sway the McGees.

Other analysts echoed the NERD assessment. “The Palestinians can do very little with this tactically,” said Vida Minh, director of the Mediterranean-Occident Research-Outreach Nexus (MORON), “but it can be an important element in a strategic approach that relies on the accumulation of incremental pieces that, in aggregate, will eventually constitute a political fait accompli.” The only thing that would remain, said Minh, is a formal declaration of statehood.

That declaration may have to wait until many more pieces are in place. The McGees are but a small part of the Flushing community, and the Palestinians have historically not fared well among Flushing households, many of whom have professed support for Israel. They may have to settle for isolated expressions of symbolic endorsement in neighborhoods everywhere, a time-consuming approach.

Of greater concern is the geographic and political divisions among the Palestinians themselves, divisions that make any realistic state apparatus farfetched. The privileges that the Palestinians now enjoy in the McGee household will do little to offset the marginalization of the West-Bank-based Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority if they cannot demonstrate that such privileges can translate soon into concrete advantages. The Gaza-Strip-based Hamas faction has been openly dismissive of the non-violent Fatah strategy, and have called any efforts to enlist the McGee family a waste of time.

The Palestinians have yet to outline their intentions following the acceptance of their application, but analysts widely expect them to focus next on the Fernandez family of Hempstead, Long Island.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. If we get enough Likes, we can apply for observer status at MORON.


Written by Thag

November 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Oooohh, now that has a cutting edge to it. Come on, everyone knows that a few nodding heads at the UN legitimizes anything.

    Trent Lewin

    November 30, 2012 at 4:46 am

    • On other news, the Manson family has been invited to join the Human Rights Council.


      November 30, 2012 at 6:51 am

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