Israel expects more US-led maneuvers at the United Nations critical of the Jewish state, similar to the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem which passed on Friday when the US refused to wield its veto power to nix it, and which Israel says the Obama administration orchestrated alongside the Palestinians.
In the final weeks of the Obama administration, “we expect more moves at the UN,” an Israeli official told the Times of Israel late Tuesday, hours after an Egyptian paper published what it claims are the transcripts of meetings between top US and Palestinian officials that, if true, would corroborate the Israeli accusations.
“The protocol that appeared in the Egyptian press tallies with what we know,” the official said. “It’s actually just the tip of the iceberg of US-Palestinian collusion.”
Quoting the Egyptian Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper, Israel’s Channel 1 TV reported Tuesday that in a meeting in early December with top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Palestinians that the US was prepared to cooperate with the Palestinians at the Security Council.
Also present at the meeting were US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Majed Faraj, director of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service, according to the report.
Kerry is quoted as saying that he could present his ideas for a final status solution if the Palestinians pledge they will support the proposed framework. The US officials advised the Palestinians to travel to Riyadh to present the plan to Saudi leaders.
Israel fears that Kerry, who is slated to give a speech Wednesday on the subject, will then lay out his comprehensive vision for two-state solution at a Paris peace conference planned for January. Israel has refused to attend. Israel further fears that this Kerry framework could be enshrined in another UN Security Council resolution.
The Egyptian report fits with Israeli claims that it had received “ironclad” information from Arab sources that Washington actively helped craft last week’s UN resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal.
“We have ironclad information that emanates from sources in the Arab world and that shows the Obama administration helped craft this resolution and pushed hard for its eventual passage,” said David Keyes, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Egyptian report did not detail whose transcripts of the meeting it had obtained or how it had obtained them.
According to the Egyptian report, the US diplomats expressed their mistrust of Netanyahu, saying he wanted to destroy the two-state solution and was only interested in maintaining the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians.
The transcript showed Kerry and Rice advising the Palestinians not to make any provocative moves when US President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20, calling him dangerous.
They warned against such steps as ending security cooperation with Israel, pursuing legal action against Israeli officials in the ICC, or dissolving the Palestinian Authority.
They also said Trump’s administration was likely to adopt a policy on the Israel-Palestinian conflict that would be totally different to that of previous administrations going back to 1967.
Responding to a question about the Al-Youm Al-Sabea report on Tuesday, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner denied that the US discussed the language of the resolution with Erekat or in a meeting with officials from New Zealand.
The Obama administration has denied it was behind the resolution, saying that it only decided not to veto it after reading the final text.
Since the resolution passed, Netanyahu has taken a series of measures against the states that supported the resolutions, minimizing ties with some and calling in their envoys for rebuke.