In what some considered to be an extraordinarily harsh reaction, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu summoned the representatives of the countries that voted against Israel at the Security Council Friday — as well as Ambassador Dan Shapiro of the United States, whose country abstained — for discussions on Sunday.
But the reason for that seeming overreaction, diplomatic sources told the NRG news site Monday, was to obviate yet another move by the Security Council against Israel — this time setting the parameters for and expected results of a negotiation process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a move Israeli officials said would amount to an imposed Security Council solution to the Middle East conflict.
Sources in Washington said over the weekend that in the wake of the Friday Security Council vote, Secretary of State John Kerry will make one final speech, this one laying out the outlines of this imposed solution. According to the Israeli sources, one of the members of the Security Council will present a resolution that codifies the principles of the speech, and this time the U.S. will vote for it, if not sponsor it. The resolution will be based on the work of the Quartet, which itself has been trying to impose a settlement, or at least strongly encourage one.
The implication of such a resolution would be the United Nations taking an initiative in imposing and enforcing a settlement, and that could entail sending in troops to enforce a Security Council resolution. It would also widen the responsibility the Security Council imposed on Israel Friday, from just condemning Israel’s settlement policy to forcing the government to acquiesce to Security Council edicts, or be subject to international sanctions as a “rogue state.”
The Security Council is on vacation until January 15, but Barack Obama remains president until midnight on January 20 — and according to the Israeli sources, that is more than enough time for Obama to undertake one last move against Israel. The purpose of the discussions with the ambassadors, the sources said, was for Netanyahu to make clear the implications of such a move and the negative consequences that could result, among them irrevocable damage to the peace process and a likely inevitable annexation of at least part of Yehudah and Shomron.
“The Prime Minister does not act out of panic or pressure, but out of a clear understanding of how Israel needs to conduct itself during these crucial weeks,” the sources said. “The working assumption is that the story is not yet finished, and given the circumstances, this is the proper way to act.”