Sunday, September 18
• Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas left Amman
for New York, reportedly carrying a written request to UN Secretary- General Ban
Ki-moon for recognition of Palestine as the UN’s 194th member state.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in New
• The envoys of the Quartet – the US, EU, Russia and the UN – met
to try to come up with a formula for restarting negotiations, and prevent what
diplomatic officials have termed a “train wreck” at the UN.
• Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to the
US for the 66th UN General Assembly meeting. He will join Barak, Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Environmental
Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister
Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon who will also be in New
York this week to present Israel’s case and continue lobbying leaders from
around the world against the Palestinian move.
In addition, Gidi
Schmerling, who was just replaced as Netanyahu’s chief spokesman by Yoaz Hendel,
and Yonatan Peled, who this summer completed a tour of duty as spokesman at
Israel’s embassy in Washington, are setting up a media center in New
York. They will be augmented by Israel’s envoy in Washington, Michael
Oren, and by former ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
• Netanyahu is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama in the evening on
the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. This will be the eighth
meeting between the two leaders since they both took office in early
• Abbas, who last spoke by phone with Obama in February, has been
invited to participate in a reception hosted by Obama at the UN. No one-on-one
Obama-Abbas meeting has yet been scheduled.
Thursday, September 22
Netanyahu will hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders attending
the General Assembly, with an emphasis on the heads of states that are members
of the Security Council, and which Israel believes may be convinced either to
abstain or to vote against the Palestinian move. For the resolution to pass the
Security Council, nine of 15 states must cast a “yes” vote. If the US, or any of
the other four permanent members of the council votes against, the resolution is
vetoed. The countries Israel believes may be convinced to either vote
against or abstain are the US, Britain, France, Germany, Portugal,
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon and Nigeria. The other countries on the
council are India, Brazil, South Africa, Lebanon, China and Russia.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the
Friday, September 23
• Abbas will deliver a speech
, during which he
is expected to announce he will turn to the UN Security Council for recognition
of statehood. For the Security Council to discuss the issue, a written
request must be made to the UN secretary-general. Once this is done, the request
could be dealt with by the Security Council in a matter of days, unless Security
Council member states tie up the resolution in committee, something that is a
very possible and would mean that the issue might not be taken up by the council
• Netanyahu will address the General Assembly after Abbas
told the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday that his speech had the dual goals of
ensuring “that this move to bypass negotiations does not succeed and is stopped
in the Security Council,” and presenting “our truth and – in my opinion – the
general truth, which is our desire for peace. The fact that we are not
foreigners in this land, that we have rights in this land that go back ‘only’
4,000 years, I will say this loud and clear.”Sunday, September 25
prime minister is scheduled to return to Israel.