IPF Statement Following the Passage of UN Security Council Resolution

Israel Policy Forum (IPF) reiterates its opposition to the passage of today’s UN Security Council Resolution. We do so because this resolution is more likely to galvanize opponents to the two-state solution than to advance pragmatic strategies to achieve that goal, which is essential for Israel’s security and future as a Jewish and democratic state.

The UN’s long reputation of condemnation of Israel while turning a blind eye to atrocities worldwide, including most recently and notably the catastrophic violence in Syria, make its focus on Israel especially egregious.

We believe that this particular resolution fell short in its failure to distinguish between settlement activity that undermines prospects for a two-state reality – specifically the legalization and expansion of illegal outposts east of the Security Barrier – and construction within blocs of settlements that are widely expected to be annexed to Israel in an agreed territorial swap in the future. In fact, the resolution failed to even endorse the notion of an eventual territorial swap which has been endorsed by most relevant players in the international community, including the Arab League’s Arab Peace Initiative Follow-Up Committee.

As a result, today’s resolution is likely to encourage further efforts to isolate Israel, and in turn harden Israeli attitudes against the United Nations, rather than serve as a constructive criticism of steps undertaken by either party which are inconsistent with the goal of two states.

IPF urges the Israeli government and the incoming Trump Administration to recognize that in the absence of initiatives seeking to advance a viable two-state solution, others will seek to fill the void. IPF reiterates its support for the recommendations provided by the network of over 240 generals who comprise the Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), which include pragmatic initiatives that would improve Israel’s security and international standing while preserving the opportunity to reach a negotiated two-state solution in the future.

IPF Statement Prior To UNSC Resolution Vote

Israel Policy Forum (IPF) maintains that the endorsement of the international community in support of achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains essential at a time when that goal is under heavy assault from its opponents in Israel, Palestine, the United States, and elsewhere in the international arena.

We further recognize the high barrier that Israeli settlement activity creates for achieving this outcome, particularly settlement activity and efforts to legalize existing unauthorized settlements east of the security barrier and outside the blocs.

While the UN Security Council Resolution under consideration underscores international support for two states, we fear that the practical result of this Resolution will be to encourage boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel, which will make that critical goal further from reach.  Moreover, the UN’s troublesome history of singling out Israel for censure makes that venue especially problematic for addressing issues that must be resolved through negotiation.

This episode underscores the urgency of initiatives, such as those proposed by the network of over 240 generals who comprise the Commanders for Israel’s Security, that would halt settlement activity east of the security barrier, along with other constructive measures to preserve the viability of a future negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace.