Clinton against 'imposed' UN action on two-state solution, aide says

White House says it will consider "future engagement" at UN "when we reach that point."

March 8, 2016 22:11
2 minute read.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the South Carolin

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the South Carolina primary to supporters at a primary night party in Columbia, South Carolina, February 27, 2016. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton opposes action in the UN Security Council that would impose terms or guidelines for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process "from without," her campaign said on Tuesday.

Clinton has long disagreed with the tactic, writing in an op-ed in the Forward last November that, "while no solution can be imposed from outside, I believe the United States has a responsibility to help bring Israelis and Palestinians to the table and to encourage the difficult but necessary decisions that will lead to peace." The former secretary of state repeated her position at the Brooking Institutions' Saban Forum in December.

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But the policy sets her slightly apart from the Obama administration, which, in March of last year, said it would entertain action at the UN in reaction to Israel's continued settlement activity and the moribund prospects for direct negotiations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tolerance of settlement construction runs contrary to the pursuit of peace, the White House contends.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported the administration is considering a renewed peace push, which would likely include some kind of a resolution in the Security Council. Senior administration officials declined to confirm or deny the report.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday that the US "will continue to oppose one-sided resolutions"– but not all resolutions.

"What we have acknowledged is that our policy when it relates to UN resolutions has not changed. We obviously will consider future engagement if and when we reach that point," Earnest said.

In March of last year, Earnest said the White House was considering a "rethink" of its policy at the UN with respect to the conflict.

"The reason that the United States on a number of previous occasions has opposed a resolution like the one that you’ve described is that we have made the case to the international community that a solution shouldn’t be imposed on the outside because the two parties should come to the table and reach a negotiated settlement face to face," Earnest said.

"The only thing that’s changed is that our ally in those conversations, Israel, has indicated that they’re not committed to that approach anymore," he continued. "And so if that’s the case, it means that we need to sort of rethink what our approach is going to be in the United Nations."

US Secretary of State John Kerry led nine months of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in 2013-2014, which preceded a bloody war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, as well as a spate of knife attacks by Palestinian assailants against Israeli civilians.

Asked to comment on reports the administration is preparing to cooperate on Security Council action, Laura Rosenberger, foreign policy advisor to the campaign, told The Jerusalem Post that Clinton "believes that a solution to this conflict cannot be imposed from without."

"That still stands," Rosenberger added.

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