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U.S. seeks to counter Palestinian UN resolution with alternative offer, says French diplomat

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The United States is creating momentum for the French to forestall, or altogether abandon, presenting a resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on behalf of the Palestinians. France has been informed of an American alternative offer to the Palestinian pursuit of a draft resolution to negotiate an end Israel’s occupation of territories gained in June 1967, a French diplomatic source has told me.

Palestinian sources said they have not received any proposal from the U.S. to counter their moves at the UN. “If you have something you share it,” said a senior Palestinian official close to the arrangements. “I think what the Americans are trying to do is to delay any initiative until Israeli elections take place.”

Israel will hold elections on March 17, 2015. Additionally, the seats of the four temporary members of the UN Security Council will rotate in January, casting a new set of political dimensions if the draft resolution is held until after the new year.

While the contents of the U.S. alternative to a UNSC resolution were not revealed to me, France sees an American proposal as a railroad tactic, pressuring France to withdraw its draft resolution. France wants to act as an Israeli-Palestinian mediator. And yet France is “confused” by Palestinian actions, said the French diplomat who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity.

Reporting on the Ground

“France has no idea what the Palestinian are doing,” the French diplomat said. He noted that despite Palestinian announcements that it had incorporated elements of the French draft resolution, France has not actually seen the Palestinians’ final text as of yesterday afternoon Jerusalem time.

Palestinian sources dispute this account. They said that they are continuing their actions at the UNSC by way of Jordan and are not looking to France to submit a resolution on their behalf.

However, that decision too is not up to the Palestinians.  Only Security Council members can table draft resolutions. Jordanian officials said Wednesday that like the French, they were not presented with a copy of the resolution.

It is widely understood that a French version of the resolution would stand a better chance of passing the Security Council, inasmuch as the U.S. would be less likely to veto a resolution from a member of the Security Council.

Clashes between allied partners and member states are rare in the Security Council once a resolution has been submitted. The French seek to have all issues of contention solved before a resolution is read at the UN. The French diplomat referenced the row between his country and the U.S. over a Security Council resolution in regard to a then impending U.S. invasion of Iraq. “It was a major diplomatic crisis,” he said. France doesn’t want a blowup over the Palestinian initiative.

Initially two drafts of the Security Council resolution circulated, one French in consultation with European partners and one Jordanian-Palestinian with support from the Arab League. The principal differences between the drafts were that the Palestinians wanted to include language on ending Israel’s occupation within a two-year period, while the French wanted to re-establish negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Both entail previous international accords such as United Nations resolution 242 and 181, a removal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in June 1967, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees based on return and compensation, respectively.

France included a reference to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. But Palestinians have said this as a red line. “The draft that we have doesn’t include any reference to a Jewish state,” said the senior Palestinian official. The current “merged” draft incorporates France’s desire to create new parameters for peace talks, rather than a deadline of withdrawing Israeli forces by the close of 2016.

Other terms, such as an immediate settlement freeze and refraining from “any illegal activities,” were carried over into the new text, said the Palestinian official.

“I reaffirmed France’s commitment to an initiative in the UN Security Council encompassing parameters as well as a timetable for these negotiations,” said France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Tuesday after meeting with Palestinian and Israeli officials earlier the same day, and American, British and German officials the day before. “I also mentioned the need to renew the framework of these discussions in order to promote the involvement of all international partners willing to contribute to this settlement. France is convinced that it is high time to act for peace in a concrete manner.”

France hopes the Palestinians will accept their version in full. The U.S. has indicated it would not veto such a resolution so long as it does not contain any unilateral actions against Israel.

“As the Secretary said very publicly, we haven’t made a decision, and it’s based on the context and the text that would be proposed,” said State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki on Wednesday. “It depends on what the details are on what we’ll do.”

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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26 Responses

  1. Walid on December 18, 2014, 12:20 am

    The US will not allow any unilateral resolution or action against Israel. In plain English, it wants the Palestinians to go on negotiating with the Israelis until they have no more land left to negotiate about; other than running interference for Israel, the US has nothing to offer.

    BTW, thanks for the “edit” function.

    • seafoid on December 18, 2014, 1:22 am

      The US has been corrupted by Zionist money. Jen Psaki is the proof.
      Expecting the US to play a neutral role is deluded.

      The good news is that the world is moving on from the fairytale of the peace process so that’s likely to undermine the bot stranglehold on Dc. Expecting US politicians to break free of their funding chains is nuts.

      They are prisoners in the hotel Israel. Such a lovely place.

  2. seafoid on December 18, 2014, 1:23 am

    It’s great to see Jordan helping the Palestinians.

    • OyVey00 on December 18, 2014, 9:38 pm

      They just want the millions of Palestinian refugees (who are still living in camps after 50 years) out of their country.

  3. Sycamores on December 18, 2014, 1:31 am

    the seats of the four temporary members of the UN Security Council will rotate in January, casting a new set of political dimensions if the draft resolution is held until after the new year.

    i believe there is five new temporary members: Venezuela, New Zealand, Spain, Angola and Malaysia.

    all five supported Palestinian Statehood making the political dimensions more favorable i would have thought.

    one thing i can’t understand why would anyone expect the Palestinians to wait until after the Israeli elections in March?

    • Walid on December 18, 2014, 2:46 am

      The US carries a big stick at the UN. The weak link in this story is Jordan that remains a state by the grace of US and Saudia aid, its exports of potash don’t cover the rent; it’s grandstanding at the UNSC on behalf of Palestine is of little consequence and intended for domestic consumption. Venezuela would be replacing it in the same capacity and efficiency. Until there are elections in Palestine, nothing is going to change and the US, Israel and Abbas know it and none of them is going to allow it. There are 36 members out of a total 84 members of Palestine’s Parliament in Israeli jails now with 2/3 of them in administrative detention without any charges against them. It doesn’t appear to be distrssing Abbas in any way.

      • seafoid on December 18, 2014, 2:53 am

        That’s all true Walid but it’s not as if the world otherwise is stable. Diplomacy is about give and take and the US needs allies for other firefighting jobs.
        It’s great to able to support Israel unconditionally but risk is funny and 100% protection is not possible.

        Jordan has the ISIS thing as well….

      • Sycamores on December 18, 2014, 10:19 am

        i’m in agreement but they are some areas where the US have to thread carefully.

        the US have to be careful in not upsetting it Arab allies in the ‘war’ against ISIS.

        then there is France a permnanent member of the UNSC, French draft of the resolution will make it very hard for the US to veto it.

        an US veto at this stage would hopefully finish their role as the ‘honest broker’.

        as for Abbas, if the resolution is veto and he does not keep his promise by going to the ICC, he should retire .

  4. seafoid on December 18, 2014, 2:49 am

    Baby please don’t go to the UNSC

    Sung by Jen Psaki with the backing of the Jewish money band

  5. HarryLaw on December 18, 2014, 4:32 am

    The Palestinians should only take the French resolution seriously when it is submitted by the “Catholic state of France”. The only way a negotiating process will work is if there is a complete freeze on settlement expansion in all occupied territories, with action from the Security Council for breaching it. It will not happen of course, we will get the usual blather from the West, the Palestinians need to apply for full membership of the ICC and give Israel and the US both barrels, of course that probably won’t happen either.

  6. amigo on December 18, 2014, 6:20 am

    More zionist insanity.

    “Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that the submission of the draft amounted to an act of aggression. ”

    He then leaps into a tirade of whataboutery.

    “”The UN Security Council should concern itself with the real important issues,” Lieberman said, “like the welfare of the citizens of the world, how to deal with the murderous terrorist acts such as those that occurred in Australia and Pakistan this week, or deliberate what has been happening in Syria and Libya, instead of wasting its time with the Palestinians’ gimmicks.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.632456

    Not behind a pay wall.

    • just on December 18, 2014, 6:58 am

      Why didn’t he speak about the terrorism in Pennsylvania and Oregon and of the IOF Occupiers?

      How about tending to the Ofer Winter group?

      “Something is rotten in the IDF’s Givati Brigade

      Recent allegations of sexual harassment, improper use of funds and unexplained suicides indicate a severe problem of oversight.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.632385

      Freedom, self- determination, and justice are not “gimmicks”.

  7. amigo on December 18, 2014, 6:29 am

    ” Jordan submits UN draft on Palestinians; Lieberman: Act of aggression
    Finalized draft could be put to vote on Thursday.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.632456

    Eeny meeny miny moe , should I veto or let it go.Perhaps I should call my best buddy bibi and get his advice.he will know what is best for Israel.

  8. Kay24 on December 18, 2014, 6:37 am

    Here is that Draft Resolution in it’s entirety:

    United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Palestinians, December 17

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.632516

    • just on December 18, 2014, 6:46 am

      There’s nothing at all “aggressive” about the resolution.

      Does “self-determination” translate into something different in Moldova?

      • Kay24 on December 18, 2014, 8:47 am

        Well for some folks who play the victim, even a fly passing by can be “aggressive”.

  9. NickJOCW on December 18, 2014, 6:46 am

    Right, wrong, legal, illegal, none of these has much to do with the outcome, it’s who wields the most muscle that determines such things. The US is weakened and corrupted by politics and war but is still remains the greatest power, its military and economic tentacles reach everywhere and until the US wants the Palestinians to have their land and independence they can only inch their way towards it. At this point I cannot see the US accepting an independent Arab nation in the area whatever the rest of the world may decide. Look what it’s doing to Syria.

  10. HarryLaw on December 18, 2014, 7:59 am

    Section 10 of the draft resolution calls for no illegal settlement activity, therein lies the problem, the Israelis do not consider the settlements illegal, therefore they will carry on building. This resolution will give them at least 2 more years, it was only recently the GOI said they aim for 1 million settlers in the West Bank in future years. Unless they are stopped, whether by BDS or through legal remedies via the ICC, or other means of resistance, nothing will change, correction, things will get worse for the Palestinians.

    • just on December 18, 2014, 8:20 am

      Thanks, Harry.

      The solution is for the US to stand up and declare the illegal settlements illegal~ no veto, no abstention.

      Then things will be better for everyone concerned~ most importantly, the suffering Palestinian people.

    • eljay on December 18, 2014, 8:43 am

      >> HarryLaw: … Israelis do not consider the settlements illegal, therefore they will carry on building.

      According to the Zio-supremacist formula, morality = goal (establishing as large a supremacist “Jewish State” as possible) + methods (whatever it takes, including building illegal settlements).

  11. Boomer on December 18, 2014, 9:01 am

    Thanks for this report, which clarifies the situation. I have found some reports via Google News, but they have been conflicting and confusing; this is the best reporting that I’ve seen. It is disturbing (but not surprising) to read what my government is up to. How sad it is that we continue in so many ways to support and enable injustice and oppression. How easy it would be to take a better course, if Mr. Obama wanted to do so.

  12. John Douglas on December 18, 2014, 12:14 pm

    It looks like Samantha Power will have an influential role in France’s actions on this. In the “New Yorker’s” recent piece on Power it’s reported that the French Ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud, representing the French delegation, sent Power a note that said, “… you are very beautiful.” He is later quoted, “I think she likes me because she knows how to manage me. Really, she has seduced me.” Pretty pathetic that Palestine has French testosterone to worry about along with all the rest.

  13. Wisdo on December 19, 2014, 8:16 am

    The US veto is automatic and non negotiable. The US veto does not take into account US positions on anything or US foreign policy. Its is solely concerned with Israel’s wants and needs. And by ‘Israel’, I mean Likud.

  14. ASBizar on December 19, 2014, 9:15 am

    As the most pessimist of all, I have no faith whatsoever in the UN. They are a bunch of puppets that do two things 1: clear the way for the world powers to do whatever they want 2: issue a set of useless resolutions only to say we did something.
    For those who continuously talk about Hamas charter and peace-loving Israel, this is a very clear statement: no Palestine can exist. Peace is only meaningful in the case of a nonexistent Palestine.

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