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May 3, 2015

U.S. Will Not Rule Out UNSC Veto

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was unwilling Wednesday to commit to a US veto in the UN Security Council (UNSC) of an anticipated French backed UNSC Resolution that would create a framework and timeline to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Shapiro’s reluctance to commit to a veto during an interview with Israeli Army Radio echoed statements made by US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman during a speech Monday to Jewish leaders at a conference of the Reform Movement. Despite emphasizing that the US has always “had Israel’s back in the International arena” and that “this will continue to be the case,” Sherman made it clear the US “will be watching very closely to see what happens on this [Palestinian] issue after the new government is formed. If the new Israeli government is seen to be stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution that will make our job in the international arena much tougher... it will be harder for us to prevent internationalizing the conflict.”

While Shapiro and Sherman have been unwilling to reject a possible UNSC veto, US Secretary of State John Kerry has been appealing to France and other US allies to delay pushing any UNSC resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process until after the deadline for the Iran talks at the end of June or until the Obama administration has assured congressional support for the deal. Ilan Goldenberg, a former member of the Obama administration’s Middle East team, told Foreign Policy that the White House needs to balance ensuring support for the Iran deal in Congress with its interest in pursuing a new push for Middle East peace at the UN. Goldenberg said he doubts the US will ever find the right time to pursue some form of action in the UNSC despite a genuine commitment to promote a two-state solution.

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