America looking to push back UN vote on Palestine


The United States is trying to postpone a vote at the UN Security Council on a Palestinian resolution to set a deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state until after the Israeli elections in March.

The proposal, which was tabled by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinian Authority last Wednesday, was originally scheduled for an immediate vote, but the Palestinians agreed to delay voting until more Security Council members have announced their support.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged European nations not to support the Palestinian proposal.

EU members of the Security Council have yet to officially state their position but it is understood that Britain is in agreement with the Americans while France is leaning towards the Palestinian proposal, which was amended in order to reflect a similar French plan.

The website Foreign Policy reported over the weekend that Mr Kerry had told European ambassadors that a vote on the proposal at this stage could serve as a boost to the right-wing parties in Israel opposing the diplomatic process. He reportedly told the envoys that the Labour-Hatnuah candidate Tzipi Livni and former president Shimon Peres had both urged him to try to prevent the vote.

Ms Livni was criticised by Likud and Habayit Hayehudi leaders for “interfering in Israel’s diplomatic affairs” to further her political interests.

A Labour-Hatnuah spokesperson responded that “Livni is proud that she succeeded in safeguarding Israel’s essential interests at the Security Council.”

It is unclear whether the Palestinians have changed their plans and are now willing to wait until after the Israeli elections to bring their proposal to vote or are merely waiting until after January 1 when new nations will be joining the Security Council, possibly giving them the nine-member majority that would force the US to block the proposal.

Israeli officials were concerned that the US might not act to prevent a vote. However, the Obama administration may now have decided to block any new pressure on Israel during the election campaign so that it is not seen to be interfering in its internal politics.

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