Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (L) sits with US Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) (C) and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) during their joint news conference in Jerusalem September 2, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK - House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce expressed concern on Sunday that the Obama administration is preparing to support an initiative at the United Nations on the Middle East peace process.
Addressing The Jerusalem Post's annual conference in New York, Royce (R-California) said he did not believe that parameters for peace outlined at the United Nations– an initiative led by the French government– would include a "demand for security" for the Jewish state.
Previous administrations have opposed action at the United Nations as an imposed effort upon the two parties to the conflict, counterproductive to the pursuit of a negotiated peace settlement. Both likely US presidential candidates, Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, oppose the approach.
"My concern is that the administration might... allow this French initiative to go forward," Royce said.
At least two resolutions are currently under the pen related to the decades-old conflict: One being spearheaded by France, and the other by the the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian draft would have the Security Council state it's opposition to Israel's settlement activity in the West Bank— a position held by each individual permanent member of the Council.
The Paris-led initiative would have the Security Council outline parameters of a two-state solution. Israel fervently opposes both efforts.
The White House said last year it was willing to review its policy toward the conflict in the United Nations, and it has yet to explicitly rule out such an approach.
But with Congress' power of the purse, Royce said that negotiations over a new decade-long US defense package to Israel would be sure to include sufficient security assistance– including robust missile defense and a guarantee of Israel's continued qualitative military edge (QME) over its neighbors for years to come.
Royce noted his willingness to reconsider US aid to the Palestinians if it continues what he characterized as its incitement to violence against Israeli Jews.
"We really have to have leaders in this world that, rather than pushing incitement, are having a genuine dialogue," he said, in a criticism of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. "We have to have the American public understand the challenge here."