Speculation has been building that President Barack Obama is considering abandoning the longstanding U.S. policy of protecting Israel at the UN with the power of the veto. The U.S. typically uses its veto power to put down any anti-Israel resolutions or Palestinian attempts at reaching statehood through the U.N. However, with peace talks at a standstill for almost a year the US is being pressured by other international powers to either to abstain or even vote in favor of a resolution that would see the laying out of terms for a two-state solution based on Israel’s 1967 borders, something Jerusalem opposes.
Such a significant reversal in policy appears to have been gaining momentum since the Obama administration demonstrated outright hostility for the Israeli Prime Minister after he won elections in March. The President has made it clear that US policy was being re-evaluated earlier this year when he said that “the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, along with the conditions Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set for establishing a Palestinian state, have made it harder for the United States to continue defending Israel at the United Nations against European initiatives”.
Bloomberg News reports that “Robert Malley, the Middle East director for President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, told at least one European nation that the administration is more willing than it has ever been to work on a Security Council resolution defining the parameters for a Mid-East peace agreement”. Such talk would confirm why Obama recently went so far as to rebuff his own close congressional ally, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid, on this matter. Reid reportedly submitted at least two requests for Obama to commit to exercising the United States’ veto power at the U.N. Security Council. CONTINUE