'Livni, Peres urged Kerry to stall Palestinian bid for statehood at UN'

UN Security Council pressure on Israel to quit territories would play into the hands of Netanyahu and Bennett, Livni and Peres reportedly told Kerry.

December 20, 2014 09:44
1 minute read.
Kerry and Peres

US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) meets former president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US Secretary of State John Kerry told European diplomats recently that Washington has no plans to permit any UN Security Council resolution related to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to gain passage before the March general election, according to a report in Foreign Policy.

Citing unnamed European sources, the report said Kerry had conferred on the matter with former justice minister Tzipi Livni and former president Shimon Peres, who told the secretary that any UN resolution designed to pressure Israel would play into the hands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing partner, Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi.

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The Palestinians have stepped up their diplomatic campaign to unilaterally gain recognition of an independent state through the UN Security Council, a move Israel opposes. On Thursday, the Palestinian emissary submitted a draft resolution seeking a binding UN decision that would force Israel to quit the West Bank by 2017.

Washington has already expressed its disapproval of the Palestinian gambit, raising the specter that the Obama administration will veto the move.

According to Foreign Policy, while there is little doubt as to the Americans' wish for a new regime in Jerusalem that would be more flexible in negotiations with Ramallah, the administration is keen to avoid any steps that could be construed as meddling in the election for fear that it would embolden the nationalist camp headed by Netanyahu and Bennett.

The report stated that European diplomats and the Palestinians have tried to ascertain what kind of diplomatic offering the Americans have planned for after the Israeli elections, but so far have been met with "vague" responses from Washington.

In response to the Foreign Policy report, the joint Labor-Hatnua campaign released a statement touting their "consistent position in opposition to any Palestinian attempt to impose on Israel a new set of circumstances unilaterally."

"Livni is proud that she has succeeded in protecting Israel's vital interests in the Security Council," the statement read.

"It is possible to protect Israel's security interests with proper diplomatic policies, something that could happen only if [Labor chief Isaac] Herzog and Livni will form the next government," the statement read.

"Herzog and Livni will continue to act and wield their influence on the international stage in order to advance the State of Israel's security and diplomatic interests."

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