As his term runs down, US President Barack Obama plans to make one more desperate bid for peace between Israel and the Palestinians by way of an international body known to be hostile to Israel – the United Nations (UN).
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Obama’s last-ditch effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is likely to include a UN Security Council resolution which would set a framework for a viable deal.
Such a resolution would demand concessions from both Israel and the Palestinians, the WSJ reported senior US officials as saying, despite the Palestinians’ historical refusal to make any concessions whatsoever.
The UN move would be a welcome one to the Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, which has pushed for the establishment of an international body to mediate peace talks, preferring to appeal to external parties who may be more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than to deal directly with Israel.
Israel, on the other hand, has rejected external interference from non-concerned parties in the belief that direct talks are the best way to an agreement. The most recent outside push for talks came from France, which put forward a plan for resuming negotiations while simultaneously threatening to recognize the Palestinian state out-of-hand if no terms were reached. The French plan was dismissed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said it was “doomed to fail.”
Adding insult to injury, the United Nations is widely recognized as unfairly critical of Israel, which has been subject to disproportionately more UN resolutions than any other country. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has directly blamed Israel again and again for violence and unrest in the region.
In January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon justified the ongoing wave of Palestinian terror against Israel by announcing, “It is human nature to resist occupation.” If the UN were to mediate a peace agreement, there is little doubt that its anti-Israel bias would deeply color proceedings.
The WSJ report added that other initiatives under consideration in Obama’s final grasp at Middle East peace included a presidential speech or a statement from the Quartet (comprised of the US, the European Union, the UN, and Russia).
Compromises suggested by the proverbial UN resolution could include Israel freezing construction in Judea and Samaria and acknowledging East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital on one side, and Palestine recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and giving up right of return on the other.
A land swap would be implemented, with Israel withdrawing to pre-1967 borders.
The Bible firmly establishes Judea and Samaria, today known as the West Bank, as within the historical borders of the God-given land of Israel, and a prophecy in the Book of Joel warns that all nations which seek to divide Israel will meet judgement. However, Israel’s ancient claim goes largely unrecognized by modern world powers.
Israel has yet to respond to the possibility of such a plan. Past efforts by the Obama administration to mediate peace between Israel and the Palestinians have failed, and most Israeli officials do not see Obama, whose relations with Netanyahu are frosty, as a friend to Israel.