After Deal Palestine Turns To UN For Statehood

by James M. WallGerman Foreign Minister Steinmeier, EU High Rep Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarifat,  Russian Deputy Political Director Karpov and British Foreign Secretary Hammond following nuclear talks in Lausanne

Iran and six world powers (including the U.S.) have reached an unexpected political agreement for a final Iran nuclear deal.

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif broke the news on April 2, with a twitter message that the negotiators have “found solutions; ready to start drafting immediately”.

We have “succeeded in making history,” Zarif said at a follow-up press conference at Lausanne, Switzerland. He added: “If we succeed, it is one of the few cases where an issue of significance is solved through diplomatic means.”

Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (shown above), gathered with other foreign leaders to pose for pictures after the official announcement of the nuclear deal.

Speaking from the White House rose garden, President Barack Obama announced that we have “reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

On Monday, April 6, encouraged by the U.S. refusal to yield to Israel’s opposition to the nuclear deal, Palestine’s U.N. ambassador Riyad Mansour announced that the Palestinians are “ready and willing” to see if the U.N. Security Council has “the political will” to adopt a resolution with a deadline for ending Israel’s occupation and establishing a Palestinian state.

Ambassador Mansour said at a press conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York, that adoption of a U.N. resolution with a timetable would be “one of the most effective measures to combat extremism in our region, because extremists receive their fuel from the injustice of the Palestinian people.”

“’If there is a just solution to this conflict … in a short period of time, then you’ll take away from them the main source of recruitment and mobilization,” he said, adding that it would also contribute to resolving perhaps 70 percent of the ‘burning issues in the Middle East”.

 Mansour said ‘the United States holds the key.'”

Palestinian leaders were encouraged by a statement from President Obama that “he will reassess U.S. policy toward Israel following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment before last month’s election that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch”.

This could mean that Washington would no longer shield Israel in actions before the Security Council.​ 

This “danger” that Israel may have lost some of its protective shield at the U.N. has stirred considerable agitation within the Israel Lobby forces in the U.S. and among members of  Congress.

Al Monitor reports on this moment of opportunity for the U.S. to escape the control Israel maintains over its policy in the Middle East, pointing to the announcement that France “is preparing a new UN Security Council resolution on negotiations that would seek to enforce a two-state solution in the decades long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

For that resolution to succeed, France and its allies at the U.N. “will need the cooperation of Israel’s traditional guardian, the United States”.

Faced with heavy opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran from members of the U.S. Senate, the United States has been less than clear over just how far it will go in resisting Israeli control.

Some Middle Eastern diplomats have expressed the hope that with the success of the deal between the P5+1 states and Iran, the U.S. might feel it has the momentum to support the Palestinian move to the U.N. for Palestinian statehood.

UN Ambassador to Jordan Dina Kawar, told reporters on April 2, “I like to think that now this deal has been signed, Secretary of State John Kerry will have the time and momentum to try to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

So far, the signs of change are slipping away. After the success of the nuclear deal with Iran, a blow to Israel, the U.S. has worked hard to shore up its relationship with Israel.

Shortly after the agreement was reached, President Obama “quickly reiterated his commitment to Israel’s security, noting that he had asked his national security team to step up collaboration with the new government on defense measures between the two countries”.

To add to what may be causing a return to the old Obama, the president is facing a vigorous counter-attack against the Iran deal inside Congress, an attack orchestrated by Israel.

Haaretz reports on the form this counter-attack will take. “Israel will adopt two lines of attack as it tries to thwart – or at least modify – the international nuclear agreement with Iran in the coming weeks, a senior [Israeli] official said.

Through its loyal U.S. forces, in and out of Congress, Israel “will lobby the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would make it difficult, or even impossible, to approve a comprehensive deal with Iran if one is reached by the June 30 deadline” for a final agreement between the negotiating parties.

Israel’s counter-attack will, at the same time, press the White House for “improvements”  in the terms of the agreement. The Israeli official indicates that:

“Israel will try to persuade as many congressmen and senators as possible to support the bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (Rep.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The bill sets a 60-day period from the moment an overall agreement is reached with Iran, during which Congress and the Senate will check and review its every detail.

The bill obliges senior officials of the Obama administration to submit detailed reports to Congress and attend a series of hearings about the agreement. It also says that legislation of U.S. sanctions may be revoked only if the Congress and Senate foreign affairs committees make a joint decision supporting the agreement within those 60 days.

The current draft of Corker’s proposal cannot prevent the agreement, but only delay its implementation for some time and put bureaucratic obstacles in its path.”

The Israeli official added that Israel will seek to persuade members of Congress “to introduce a clause stipulating that the agreement with Iran should be seen as an international treaty”. A U.S.-signed international treaty would require Senate approval, an approval which is not required for the current negotiated agreement. 

Through its nuclear agreement with Iran and the P5+1 nations, the U.S. has brokered a successful path away from war. That path could be blocked if the U.S. Senate votes to halt the agreement. 

Such an action would indicate that a majority of the Senate would have supported a move to have U.S. war or peace policies dictated by Israel.

If President Obama fails to prevent the Senate from blocking his major foreign policy achievement, he still has the opportunity to demonstrate his freedom from Israeli control by supporting, or not blocking, France’s U.N. resolution for Palestinian statehood.

The decision is his to make. He has two years remaining in his presidency. He must choose how he wishes to spend those two years, in servitude to Israel, or as a free leader of a sovereign nation.  

The picture above is from the website al

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
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7 Responses to After Deal Palestine Turns To UN For Statehood

  1. Robert says:

    The watershed accord with Iran represents a potential historic turning point away from the 25-year US reign of terror in the Mideast. At a minimum it is a victory for diplomacy over fear-mongering, and a defeat for those who fear peace more than they fear war.
    Ironically, Netanyahu’s unbridled chutzpah led Obama to finally earn his Nobel. The domestic political price may be throwing the Palestinians under the bus (again). However, their is potential now for cooperation on Syria to end the region’s most horrific decimation since Iraq. The ball is in Obama’s court.

  2. David Timm says:

    Am I alone in my anger over Israeli officials’ openly stating that they will turn the screws on our sitting President by directly lobbying members of Congress to vote against him? To scuttle an historic peace agreement that subverts Israel’s fervent wish that we do an encore of our Iraq debacle in Iran. . . also — and again — solely for their benefit? Let us all google “Greater Israel Plan”; read both sides of the issue; and then look at recent Middle East history in that context. .

  3. J. Martin Bailey says:

    It seems clear that Obama now faces his Woodrow Wilson moment…and with a short-sighted opposition Congress, he may have to “sell” his honorable, peaceful, approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions to the American public. May he succeed where Wilson failed. He will not be able to do it alone. I just hope that many supporters will make their convictions heard now and when the final draft is released. That includes Mrs. Clinton.

  4. AWAD PAUL SIFRI says:

    It becomes more obvious that, despite enormous US aid to affluent Israel that is more than to any other country in the world, and despite successive US Administrations placing Israel’s lust for occupation ahead of vital US interests, the US President still finds himself on the defensive.
    This is absolutely deplorable. There is simply nothing that generates and fuels more hatred for the US and everything that our country represents than our support for injustice, genocide, and ethnic cleansing in Palestine.
    President Obama is probably also being pressured by the Democratic candidate to maintain unquestioned support for Israeli occupation, in order to help gain funding and votes, come 2016.
    This is probably why the US assigned France to plunge into the task of going after the “2-State Solution”, in order to give Netanyahu more time to build more settlements.
    However, the peak of this conflict of increasingly divergent US-Israeli interests, is the attempt by Israel and some Republican demagogues to dismantle the historic Nuclear Agreement between Iran and the US (or, P 5+1, if you like).

    President Obama can actually help the next Democratic candidate by taking two steps:
    1- Demand the establishment of the State of Palestine on pre-1967 borders.
    2- Officially demand that IAEA be allowed into Israel’s nuclear facilities and to start dismantling its nuclear arsenal, simultaneously, with Iran’s.
    America’s vital interests demand this action NOW.

  5. David Timm: You are not alone…. (And thank you for your overall comment.)

  6. Samia Khoury says:

    Thanks James, but unfortunately I am not optimistic that Obama will succeed in enforcing what he thinks is best for the US and for the peace of our region. His commitment to the security of Israel on every occasion, even when he was humiliated by Israel might make it difficult for him not to continue shielding Israel. I am going to be like Thomas; I will believe it when I see it. Samia

  7. Patricia says:

    I don’t think that Obama has the sincerity, the integrity to do the correct act for justice and peace for Palestine ,etc.

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