Press Release: APN to Obama: Don't Block UNSC Resolution on Israeli-Palestinian Peace

APN today called on the Obama Administration not to block the Jordanian-backed resolution in the United Nations Security Council regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace.  APN president and CEO Debra DeLee commented:

"We urge the Obama Administration, as a true friend of Israel, not to block the Jordanian-introduced resolution in the United Nations Security Council setting out parameters and a timeline for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.  Notwithstanding the misleading reports and cynical criticisms of this UN effort, the bottom line is this:  the substance of this resolution is firmly in line with longstanding U.S. policy regarding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and passage of this resolution is consistent with the national interests of both the U.S. and Israel.  For these reasons, the Obama Administration, if it is not prepared to support the resolution, should not intervene to block its passage.

"Unsurprisingly, rejectionists on both sides – who see any UN endorsement of compromise as a challenge to their zero-sum agendas – are up in arms over this resolution.  We believe that those who are truly interested in achieving a negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should read the text carefully and see for themselves how constructive it actually is, and how sensitive it is to the fundamental requirements of both Israelis and Palestinians.  Indeed, the real story today is not that the Palestinians are defying Israel or the U.S. by going to the UN Security Council.  The real story is that the Palestinians and their Arab partners at the UN are doubling down on the Arab Peace Initiative, formally embracing peace parameters for a two-state solution that includes major concessions on Jerusalem, on land swaps, on refugees, and on security.  They are standing in front of the international community embracing peace parameters that by any reasonable measure are as pro-Israel as they are pro-Palestinian, and, regrettably and tellingly, the official Israeli response is one of outright rejection.

"The only legitimate concern about this resolution is the timeline it articulates – one year to complete negotiations and three years to implement security arrangements and end the occupation.  Certainly, such a timeline is ambitious and possibly unrealistic; however, after more than 47 years of occupation, and with developments on the ground increasingly imperiling the viability of the two-state solution, inclusion of this timetable is a positive step, injecting a sense of urgency and establishing a near-term horizon for ending the conflict.  Should meaningful, productive negotiations actually get underway and the sides find that they require more time to reach a conclusion or to implement agreed-on arrangements, passage of this resolution does not preclude a subsequent agreement by both sides to adjust the timeline. 

"Finally, as we have noted previously, the Obama administration should disregard those voices arguing that irrespective of the substance of the resolution, action should be delayed until after Israeli elections.  U.S. policy should be grounded in principled U.S. positions, not efforts to game internal Israeli or Palestinian domestic political developments. Those concerned about potential impacts on Israeli elections should recognize, too, that passage of a constructive two-state resolution in the UNSC would ensure that Israeli voters go the polls with their minds focused on the fact that Israel's next government will not be able to avoid dealing with the most important – indeed, existential – challenges facing their country: its future relations with the Palestinians and its neighbors in the region, the imminent threat continued occupation and settlements pose to Israel's survival as a democracy and its character as a Jewish state, and the dramatic erosion of Israel's relations with even its closest allies as a result of its leaders' pro-settlement, pro-Greater Israel policies."