Haaretz reports that Israel’s UN ambassador alerted his colleagues in the foreign ministry that Israel faces no chance of stopping the juggernaut for Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly next month:
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, sent a classified cable to the Foreign Ministry last week, stating that Israel stands no chance of rallying a substantial number of states to oppose a resolution at the UN General Assembly recognizing a Palestinian state in September.
Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office, meanwhile, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering not participating in this year’s General Assembly. Instead President Shimon Peres is likely to represent Israel.
…Even though he did not state so explicitly, Prosor implies that Israel will sustain a diplomatic defeat.
“The maximum that we can hope to gain [at the UN vote] is for a group of states who will abstain or be absent during the vote…Only a few countries will vote against the Palestinian initiative…”
Foreign Ministry sources estimate that 130-140 states will vote in favor of the Palestinians…So far only five western countries have promised Israel they would vote against recognition of a Palestinian state – the U.S., Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
…It appears that Benjamin Netanyahu has given up on the effort with his decision to avoid the UN General Assembly next month.
This gives you a good picture of the thinking of the radical rightists running Israel’s current foreign policy:
[Avigdor] Lieberman, who will also travel to the UN, recommended to the PM that Peres address the General Assembly, so that the Israeli position which will be heard at the UN will be as conciliatory and moderate as possible.
Who would meet with Lieberman other than saying hello to him in the UN men’s lavatory? The foreign minister of Togo (sorry, Togo)? Ah, I forgot, given the current U.S. disaster which passes for a foreign policy, it’s likely the U.S. ambassador, Susan Rice, would be delighted to welcome him. Also, interesting the cynical uses to which they put the poor octogenarian, Shimon Peres, exploiting him as a fig leaf for Israel’s maximalist rejectionist policy toward the Palestinians. Israel has to look conciliatory on the world stage in light of a major foreign policy defeat? Call Shimon. He’ll make us look good. Meanwhile back home, we can go about our merry way continuing building settlements and deforming what little democracy we have left.
By the way, just in case you wonder what J Street views are on Palestinian statehood, well they were for it before they were against it:
Jeremy Ben-Ami, director of J Street…said he was “trying to build a momentum” to stall a Palestinian plan to seek United Nations backing for statehood in September.
Interesting that the so-called progressive pro-peace lobby favors the Likudist approach to Palestinian statehood (I wrote about this irony last night regarding the Obama administration). Are there any supporters of J Street out there who’ve tried to figure out where all this “triangulation” is leading, if not to political oblivion?