Concerned that U.S. President Barack Obama might advance a U.N. resolution to impose peace parameters on Israel before he leaves office, senior Israeli officials have been lobbying advisors of the likely presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to head off such a move, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday, citing government sources.
They are afraid that in the “lame duck“ period – the two months between elections in November and the new president’s inauguration on January 20—Obama, with nothing to lose politically, will back either the French initiative or his own.
The thinking of Israeli officials is that while Obama will not act before the election, which could put Clinton, who opposes circumvention of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, in a difficult position, once she is elected, his path will be open.
Yerushalayim has been trying to capitalize on long-standing relationships between Israeli government figures and some of Clinton’s closest foreign policy advisers to try to discourage such a move by Obama.
There has been no specific commitment made by the administration that it will veto France’s proposed parameters resolution.
If Trump wins the election, as president-elect, he might also have some leverage with the outgoing president, to not saddle him with a peace initiative that he cannot support. Given Trump’s rhetoric about the low value of international bodies, he might repudiate such action in any case.
In the meantime, the matter is being taken seriously, and Israel is doing what it can to see that it doesn’t happen.
“This scenario is keeping a lot of people up at night,” one senior Israeli official said.