The United States is keeping their cards close to their vest as to how much they are willing for the United Nations to be involved in forcing a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but one thing they are making clear: Don’t do anything until after Israel’s next elections. Foreign Policy is reporting, citing European diplomats, that the US has asked the EU to hold off out of concern that a UN Security Council resolution that emplaces a deadline forcing Israel to give up territory to create a Palestinian state will prevent Israel’s left wing from taking back their government in the next round.
The Israeli left is traditionally more open to giving up land in an effort to obtain peace with the Palestinians, a tactic that in Gaza resulted in more Palestinian violence. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a center-right politician, has emphasized that Israel will work hard to prevent a bad deal from being thrust upon them at the UN.
In comments released by his office, Netanyahu said that Israel is “under a diplomatic attack led by the Palestinian Authority and which is designed to deny us our very right to defend ourselves and seeks to deny us the legitimacy of our very existence,” noting that they are “rebuffing” this effort.
The Palestinian request is for the UN to force Israel to withdraw from territory they claim by 2017, according to Foreign Policy. The UN arrangement discussed by the Europeans is toned down from that position, instead calling to set up a renewed round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian state with a two-year goal for reaching a deal, reported Foreign Policy.
But such a move could reinforce Palestinian intransigence in such talks, as they may not see the need in compromising if Israel is under pressure to accept a deal in a limited timeframe. Israel has long been concerned that a bad deal that doesn’t address their security concerns could enable terrorists easy access to strike at Israel’s major cities.
While the US doesn’t even want the European approach to move forward now, Foreign Policy portrayed the US attitude to UN action on Israel and the Palestinians is somewhat unclear and it is uncertain what the US might accept after the Israeli elections.
As for the Israelis, they definitely are not going to accept the Palestinian deadline of 2017. Said Netanyahu, “We also have a clear message to those who are leading the diplomatic assault against us [at the UN]… We expect the responsible elements in the international community to reject this proposal; in any case, we will vigorously oppose it and will, of course, not act in accordance with any diktat.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 21, 2014)