Presidential front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D – Md.), rejected the idea of having the United Nations Security Council impose the terms of a peace deal on Israel and the Palestinians. The two top Democrats’ opposition comes in the wake of a report in The Wall Street Journal that the Obama administration is considering such an approach in an effort to revive the stalled Middle East peace talks.
Clinton’s campaign explained that she is against Security Council resolutions that would impose terms on Israel and the Palestinians “from without,” The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
The candidate wrote in a November an op-ed in The Forward that she was “convinced that the only way to guarantee that outcome is through diplomacy,” and that “no solution can be imposed from outside.” She added that America’s role was to bring Israel and the Palestinians together, and to “encourage” both sides to make the necessary compromises for peace.
In a statement released Tuesday, Hoyer wrote:
With news reports today that the Administration is exploring its options with regard to next steps in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is important to reiterate that peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties as part of a negotiated process. I will continue to advocate for that objective.
Former Israeli peace negotiator Tzipi Livni said in December 2014 that U.S.-sponsored peace talks broke down two years prior after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to respond to a framework proposal offered by the White House, and instead signed a series of international agreement and a reconciliation deal with Hamas.
In a recent interview, Eran Lerman, the former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs on Israel’s National Security Council, confirmed Livni’s charge. Lerman added that Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had written a paper in March 2014, which “contains an entire strategy of making a pact with Hamas and appeals to international bodies, and was written with the clear advance knowledge that the Palestinian Authority would say no to the Americans, or at least wouldn’t say yes.”
Clinton has called the U.S.-Israel relationship essential in countering Iranian influence in the Middle East, and said that she would invite the Israeli Prime Minister to Washington during her first month in office. She explicitly called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power and the imposition of a no-fly zone over that country in October.
[Photo: Hillary Clinton / Flickr ]