CMEP Bulletin: Will Obama Act For Peace?

CMEP Bulletin: Will Obama Act For Peace?

Obama’s Last Chance to Bring Lasting Peace to Israel [Newsweek]
Secretary of State John Kerry left the door open to a possible move by President Obama on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his remaining weeks in office. In remarks on December 4 at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum, Kerry said no decision has been reached yet.

John Kerry Searches for a Sign on Palestine at the Saban Forum [Tablet]
Middle East expert Matt Duss writes that President Obama’s “administration has one last shot at changing [a] dynamic” in which Israel’s “pro-settlement right” has no “fear of meaningful consequences from the United States.” According to Duss, Obama could support or at least not veto “a U.N. Security Council resolution on settlements. As administration officials have rightly said, the settlements are not the only challenge to peace-making. They do, however, represent a unique threat to a two-state outcome, over which Palestinians have zero control or recourse. Removing the sense of impunity that Israel clearly feels over its settlement enterprise, and adding the missing ingredient of real consequences for their continued growth, is something that could actually shift the dynamic.”

Palestinians Try to Sway Obama Not to Veto UN Resolution on Israeli Settlements [Haaretz]
According to Haaretz, “The Palestinian Authority is interested in coming to an understanding with the outgoing administration of U.S. President Barack Obama that would avoid an American veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution that the Palestinians intend to introduce in January.”

Middle East Meeting and Draft Resolutions [What’s in Blue]
During the December 16 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) monthly briefing on the situation in the Middle East several members are expected to present their positions on two possible draft resolutions, one drafted by New Zealand and the other by Palestine. According to What’s in Blue, “New Zealand has been consulting with the parties, as well as the US, on [its] draft, and had hoped to allow the Palestinians to pursue their own draft resolution on settlements prior to presenting their initiative. However, with New Zealand and several other interested members leaving the Council at the end of the month, New Zealand decided it could no longer postpone a discussion on action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These members also view the period before the inauguration of the new US President on January 20 as a rare window during which the outgoing President, Barrack Obama, may allow the adoption of a resolution on this highly contentious issue.”

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