Prosor: no chance for Israel at UN

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 1, 2011

The Israeli government is still undecided on how best to respond to the now almost-certain overwhelming vote in favour of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

According to an assessment sent to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem by its ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hopes of a significant group of Western countries voting against the Palestinian resolution is unfounded.

So far, Israel has only firm commitments from five Western members, the United States, Germany, Italy, Holland and the Czech Republic.

The Palestinian Authority is still working on the draft of the resolution. It is expected to be a relatively "moderate" document, reaffirming the two-state solution, with a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders. This will make it difficult for many nations, including allies of Israel, to oppose a diplomatic formula that they traditionally have supported.

There are currently two factions within the Israeli cabinet on how best to respond to the UN vote. One, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, advocates cutting all ties with the PA in response to the unilateral move. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who also supports this view, has called for blocking all money transfers to the PA. Defence Minister Ehud Barak, backed by the IDF and security services, is in favour of a more low-key response, in which Israel will continue to co-operate with the PA despite the diplomatic clash. Mr Netanyahu has yet to reveal his position.

Last updated: 12:05pm, September 1 2011