Don’t Back U.N. Council on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Lawmakers Urge Obama

By Carol Lee

Wall Street Journal

April 14, 2016

Several hundred Democratic and Republican lawmakers are urging the White House not to back any resolution at the United Nations that sets parameters for Israeli-Palestinian talks, a move President Barack Obama has been considering.

In a letter to Mr. Obama, 388 members of the House, including Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, said U.S. support for a U.N. Security Council resolution would “dangerously hinder” the prospects of resuming direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

 “We are deeply troubled by reports that one-sided initiatives may arise at the U.N. in the coming months concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the letter says.

“Such efforts dangerously hinder the prospects for resuming direct negotiations,” the lawmakers write. “We therefore urge you to continue to insist that it is only at the negotiating table – and not at the U.N. – that the parties can resolve their complicated differences. Your continued commitment to longstanding U.S. policy to veto one-sided U.N. Security Council resolutions remains fundamentally critical.”

The White House has been discussing ways to outline a blueprint for future Israeli-Palestinian talks before Mr. Obama leaves office. One of the options under consideration is a Security Council resolution calling on both sides to compromise on key issues.

Israel has opposed such resolutions, and the U.S. has vetoed them in the past.

The White House hasn’t yet received the lawmakers’ letter and declined to comment on it.