Two conflicting reports today indicate that either the United States or the United Kingdom was behind Friday’s UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements.
First, Haaretz is reporting a story today by Barak Ravid on how the resolution came together called “Britain Pulled the Strings and Netanyahu Warned New Zealand It Was Declaring War: New Details on Israel’s Battle Against the UN Vote.” It states that British diplomats worked directly with Palestinian officials to craft the resolution and that they intended for the wording to be careful enough that US President Barack Obama would approve.
“The British helped tone down the text so it would meet the American threshold and so it could be passed without a veto,” says an anonymous diplomat quoted in the piece.
This contradicts what Israeli officials have been saying since Friday, that it was the US who was the primary force behind the bill. In fact, David Keyes, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that he had “ironclad proof” that the US was to blame.
Such evidence might be quoted in an Egyptian paper, Al-Youm Al-Sabea, which purports to have published a transcript of US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat earlier this month.
According to The Times of Israel, “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.”
A spokesperson for the Department of State, Mark Toner, denied to the Egyptian press that the US discussed the language of the resolution.
Kerry is set to give a major speech on the UN resolution and Israeli-Palestinian relations within the next 24 hours.