When Egypt submitted its proposal to the UN Security Council Wednesday evening condemning Israel for building in Judea and Samaria, eyebrows were not raised in Jerusalem. The Israeli delegation to the UN has long prepared for such a proposal and estimates that it has a good chance of passing, due to the fact that a majority of the Security Council is hostile towards Israel.
However, the final approval of the proposal, which will be tabled for vote at 10 PM Israel time on Thursday, is dependent on whether the US uses its veto power.
It is, as yet, unclear how the Americans will act in this case since their ambassador to the UN has not received a directive from President Obama concerning this issue, as Obama is presently on vacation.
The proposal was submitted by Egypt, but it was prepared by the Palestinians, who cannot submit a proposal of their own.
The proposal states that all of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are to be considered “illegal.” Similarly, Israel should return to the 1967 borders and stop all construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem.
The proposal does not relate to Palestinian terror in particular, but only calls for a “cessation of violence on both sides.”
Ratification of the proposal without a US veto would mean that the Security Council could place sanctions on Israel and that the UN Secretary-General would have to come every quarter of a year to the Security Council and report how the UN decision is being implemented. It could also lead to the opening of significant legal suits in the International Court at the Hague.
During the Security Council meeting, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, will also be speaking. Danon has spent the last few hours trying to prevent the proposal from passing.
“This is the epitome of UN absurdity and hypocrisy. This decision will not promote any peace process and will only represent a prize from the UN to the Palestinian policy of incitement and terror,” said Danon.
He added that “It is crazy that, at a time when thousands are being slaughtered in Syria, the Security Council devotes time to condemning the only democracy in the Middle East. In the last few months we have been conducting a diplomatic battle with members of the Security Council and using all methods to prevent this decision from passing. We expect out greatest friend not to let this unilateral and anti-Israel proposal pass.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also called on the US to veto the proposal. “The United States should veto this anti-Israel resolution,” stated Netanyahu on Twitter Thursday morning.
The last time a similar proposal was submitted to the Security Council was in 2011, and President Obama indeed placed a veto on it.
This time, with Obama’s presidency drawing to a close and the concerns evident in Israel regarding this transition period, there is no certainty that a veto will be placed.
Nevertheless, an American source estimated that the US would use its veto power against the proposal since the outgoing president would not want to implement unilateral steps which would significantly change the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.