Israel and the Palestinians are girding for a showdown at the United Nations this week over a resolution that would recognize a Palestinian state and demand an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory in less than two years.
The Palestinian leadership, frustrated after two decades of peace talks that have failed to bring statehood, announced that it will submit the resolution to the Security Council on Wednesday.
It is likely doomed from the start.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat allowed on Monday that the measure, which sets a November 2016 deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from land sought for a Palestinian state, does not yet have the support of a majority of Security Council members. And even if the Palestinians did win the vote, the measure would probably be vetoed by the United States, one of five permanent members with veto power.
Israelis are relying again on the United States to act as a buffer at the United Nations.
“Let it be clear: They won’t get what they want,” former justice minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni told the Jerusalem Post. “The Palestinian proposal won’t be accepted. The world will reject this text. And, if necessary, the U.S. will use its veto power.”
Although the United States has vetoed dozens of resolutions deemed anti-Israel in the past, this one comes at a particularly difficult time. Several Arab states that are sympathetic to the Palestinian position are part of the coalition battling the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and Washington is relying on their cooperation to keep the coalition from being exclusively Western.