CMEP Bulletin: Avoiding Difficult Discussions at the UN
Abbas at UN: We’ll Give Trump’s Peace Efforts a Chance, UN Bears Obligation to End Occupation [Haaretz]
“Abbas said the United Nations bore a legal, political, moral and humanitarian obligation to end the occupation, adding that Israel knew that the occupation bred incitement and violence. ‘Draining the swamp of Israeli occupation would greatly affect the fight on terror,’ he said, adding that ending the occupation would deprive terror groups of a key rallying cry. … Abbas said Israel is jeopardizing the two-state solution by continuing to expand its settlements on Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. He also warned Israel it would be like ‘playing with fire’ to make any unilateral decisions about a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem,” reports Haaretz.
Netanyahu Hails Trump’s ‘Courageous’ UN Speech Blasting Iran [The Times of Israel]
The Times of Israel reports, “In his speech at the UN, Trump addressed Iran’s regional military expansion, accusing the Islamic Republic of exporting ‘violence, bloodshed and chaos’ throughout the Middle East through its funding of terror groups that threaten Israel and Arab countries. … While Trump also addressed a number of other major international concerns, … he noticeably made no mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and attempts to reach a peace agreement. Netanyahu, for his part, said the two would discuss how ‘we can seize the opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world. I think these things go together.’”
At UN, Netanyahu Uses Iran Threat to Sideline Palestinians [Al-Monitor]
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu devoted the bulk of his 2015 speech at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York to warning of the risks inherent in the nuclear agreement signed three months earlier between Iran and six world powers. … In his speech, Netanyahu ignored the Palestinian issue almost entirely, uncharacteristically making no effort to attack Abbas for failing to prevent incitement in the Palestinian Authority. As far as the prime minister is concerned, his address to the UN was a huge success. Negotiations with the Palestinians have dropped off the agenda, while the Iranian threat to Israel has returned to take their place,” reports Al-Monitor.
Senate Bill 720: Making It a Crime to Support Palestinian Human Rights [Washington Report on Middle East Affairs]
“The bill in question, S.720 [Israel Anti-Boycott Act], was introduced on March 23, 2017 by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). S.720 opposes calls by the United Nations to boycott or ‘blacklist’ companies that support Israeli activities in the territories occupied in the 1967 war. The bill further prohibits any U.S. person from supporting this U.N. call to boycott and establishes stiff fines and/or imprisonment for Americans who violate this prohibition. … [T]here is the concern that by making illegal either the act of boycotting Israel, or advocating for such a boycott, S.720 is criminalizing free speech and stifling legitimate peaceful protest,” according to Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby.