It has been the long-standing policy of the United States will not use the United Nations Security Council to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But recent activity at the U.N. is raising concerns that President Obama is ready to break with that tradition in order to force Israel to adopt its proposal for peace in the Middle East. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the timeline for the reversal could be later this year, perhaps at the next annual opening ceremony for the U.N. General Assembly in the fall.
If that is the avenue Obama decides to pursue, the world stage will suddenly become a hostile environment for Israel without its closest ally at its side.
The White House has previously discussed a freeze of West Bank settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem. These have been rejected in the past by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but could be back on the table, if a U.N. Security Council resolution is adopted.
Additionally, the Obama administration remains eager to force Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders—also known as the Green Line—with a few land swaps thrown in. Israel to retain a small portion of territory over the Green Line in exchange for giving Palestinians land within the Green Line.
Areas outside of the Green Line include East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. These territories were captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.
The Palestinians would be asked to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and end its "right-of-return" claims for Palestinian refugees. These claims have been previously rejected by the Palestinian Authority.
A few weeks ago, the Obama administration signaled it was re-evaluating the U.S. position on the so-called "Two-State Solution." He said past U.S. vetoes on the U.N. Security Council were based on that being the "best outcome" for the nearly 70-year conflict.
"Now our ally in these talks has said that they are no longer committed to that solution," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. "That means we need to re-evaluate our position."
Netanyahu is in the process of setting up a new coalition government. There is a preliminary deadline of April 22 to complete that task, after which Obama is expected to begin applying pressure on Israel to accept his terms for Middle East peace.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has promised a "violent backlash by the Congress, bipartisan in nature," if the president follows through with the reported plan. He told the Council on Foreign Relations last month he's personally willing to pull the purse strings, if necessary, to protect Israel.
Graham is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has direct oversight of the U.S. annual contribution to the U.N. The world body receives more than $650 million a year from American taxpayers.
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