Thursday, February 27, 2020

|U.S. President Barack Obama could be preparing an unpleasant surprise for Israel as his second term draws to an end, most likely in the form of calling on the United Nations Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state, The Wall Street Journal suggested in an editorial published on Tuesday.

According to the editorial, “Israeli diplomats gird for the possibility that President Obama may try to force a diplomatic resolution for Israel and the Palestinians at the United Nations.”

The White House, The Wall Street Journal reported, has asked the State Department to prepare “an options menu” for Obama’s final weeks in office.

Among the possible options on the “menu,” according to the article, would be “to sponsor, or at least allow, a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction, perhaps alongside new IRS regulations revoking the tax-exempt status of people or entities involved in settlement building.”

Obama, however, “may also seek formal recognition of a Palestinian state at the Security Council,” the article said.

“The worst option,” according to the article, “would be an effort to introduce a resolution at the U.N. Security Council setting ‘parameters’ for a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The French have been eager to do this for some time, and one option for the administration would be to let the resolution pass simply by refusing to veto it.”

Meanwhile, whatever parameters the U.N. would establish in such a scenario, “would be unacceptable to any Israeli government, left or right, thereby destroying whatever is left of a peace camp in Israel,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

“President Obama may be the last man on earth to get the memo, but after decades of fruitless efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it might be wiser for the U.S. to step back until the Palestinians recognize that peace cannot be imposed from the outside. If Mr. Obama is still seeking a Middle East legacy at this late stage in his presidency, his best move is do nothing to make it worse,” the editorial concluded.

By Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff

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