Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces what looks to him like a serious diplomatic threat: that Western powers, including the United States, will soon launch a multilateral effort to formulate a plan for Palestinian statehood. France is convening a meeting of foreign ministers this week to discuss a possible Middle East peace conference. President Obama is said to be weighing whether to support a U.N. Security Council resolution later this year spelling out terms for a two-state solution.

Israel has long opposed any such international initiative, worrying that it would produce results it found unacceptable. Several months ago, Mr. Netanyahu embarked on a political project that looked as though it could head off the outside intervention. The result, after several twists and turns, has been to make it more likely. FULL REPORT