Speaking at the U.N. on Wednesday, President Obama said that Palestinians deserve statehood—but not through the U.N. vote scheduled for later in the week. Instead, Obama pushed more direct negotiations with Israel. The U.S. is among the countries reportedly pushing a plan that would delay the Palestine vote, putting it under review in order to avoid having to use a veto. "Peace is hard," Obama said repeatedly in his address. Elsewhere, Obama boasted of reducing the number of Americans engaged in overseas combat by half during his term in office, and praised the “extraordinary transformation” of the Arab Spring.