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Israel’s UN Defeat Feared to be Only the Beginning — Kerry Next Up

In the aftermath of Friday’s United Nations Security Council vote on Israel’s settlement policies, officials in Jerusalem fear the resolution the Americans would not veto is just the tip of the iceberg. Next up is a major policy-speech/farewell by US Secretary of State John Kerry to be delivered at the France-initiated peace conference on the foreign minister level in Paris which is believed to be the perfect set-up for another resolution: this one setting forth a new vision for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The speech would be easily converted into UNSC resolution form, submitted by any number of Security Council member states and voted on before the end of President Obama’s term in office. Those proffering this theory also argue that it would be difficult to imagine an Obama veto given the events of last week. The conventional wisdom now in play is that the French-sponsored peace conference set for January 15 not only brings all of the international players together, but provides a large enough window of opportunity for another resolution to be drafted and voted upon before Donald Trump takes over on January 20. Meanwhile at home, despite anger directed toward President Obama by a large section of the Israeli populace for what is seen by many as “abandoning Israel,” the response has not been altogether negative as a number of liberal organizations are expressing the view that President Obama acted out of “tough love” rather than animus toward the state or even the Prime Minister. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political foes are careful not to praise the US action, but are willing to offer the conclusion that ultimately the fault lies with Netanyahu and the political right for bringing on an international intervention to halt policies the international community views as being adverse to peace. While planning a diplomatic counter-offensive, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been busy reading the riot act to ambassadors of those nations that voted in favor of the resolution. Once exception is the United States, whose ambassador was personally summoned by the Prime Minister himself for a dressing-down Sunday night. Netanyahu and his foreign ministry are seen by many as walking a political tightrope as the call goes out for a diplomatic counter-attack albeit without ruffling feathers in a way that would make a second resolution more likely.