Behind the scenes at the Quartet and the U.N.

Earlier today, I reported on the European Union’s statement of support for “Two states for two peoples” that came in the wake of the Quartet’s failure to reach agreement on a statement. An American pro-Israel source in direct contact with senior Israeli officials last week told me that all members of the Quartet except the United States rejected a formula that would have called for negotiations along the 1967 lines taking into account demographic changes and for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. This was rejected, according to Israeli officials, because the parties believed this would ignore the percentage of the Israeli population that is Arab. In other words, no “Jewish state” should be a condition of negotiations. And this, mind you, is the position of those who fancy themselves as a friend of the state whose religious identity cannot be recognized.

My source has been in contact with 60 to 70 ambassadors from various countries. And as Right Turn has reported, these representatives, including Russia, privately display “no enthusiasm” for the gambit of a U.N. declaration of Palestinian statehood.

To some degree this has registered with the Palestinian Authority as well, which is no longer going to the U.N. Security Council. However, Palestinians “still feel that if there is no viable peace process that a lot of countries will support them” at the U.N. General Assembly. My source added, however, “They need to judge the quality of the countries” supporting the resolution. Britain and France appear tied at the hip in support of a resolution. Germany, which had been openly skeptical, is now under pressure at home. And if Germany goes, much of Eastern Europe may vote with the Palestinian Authority as well. Then there is Australia, thought to be in Israel’s corner. But Canada, perceived as being “too pro-Israel,” lost a shot at the U.N. Security Council; Australia now may have qualms as it seeks a Security Council seat.

 The Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas at this point is so far out on a limb that it is unlikely, the Jewish official said, to “climb down” completely from seeking a U.N. statehood resolution. That said, other options remain including resolutions granting improved status short of statehood or a referral to the International Criminal Court.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah are at loggerheads, with an uptick in violence by Hamas. There is no agreement on a new prime minister. A continued stalemate will eventually be unsustainable. And should Salam Fayyad be finally ruled out as the prime minister, the Europeans’ faith in ”Palestinian governance” will be severely diminished.

In sum, President Obama has obtained no international consensus. The “international community” is heading for a face-off in September that is not likely to be resolved until then, or perhaps even beyond. This is certainly a far cry from the “smart” diplomacy the Obama team promised us.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.

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