The Wall Street Journal reports: Israeli government officials requested that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump intervene in deliberations at the United Nations focused on passing a new resolution on the Arab-Israel conflict, thrusting him into the center of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts even before taking office, according to Israeli officials briefed on the discussions.
Top Israeli officials had come to believe that the Obama administration wasn’t going to block a U.N. resolution that seeks to define Israeli construction in disputed territories as “illegal” when the measure came up for a scheduled vote by the Security Council on Thursday, according to the officials.
Instead, they turned to the incoming president, who has staked out positions more favorable to conservative Israelis and at odds with Palestinians.
Mr. Trump responded Thursday morning by issuing a Twitter message calling for U.S. opposition to the U.N. resolution. He also held a phone conversation with Egypt’s President Abel Fatah al-Sisi, whose government had drafted the U.N. resolution. Cairo proceeded on Thursday to call for a delay on the vote.
A spokesman for Mr. Trump’s transition team said Mr. Sisi initiated the call. [Continue reading…]
Al Jazeera reports: Egypt agreed to postpone a vote on a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements after US president-elect Donald Trump called President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian president’s office said. [Continue reading…]
Reuters reports: U.S. officials have voiced growing fears that a “two-state” solution is imperiled by Israeli settlement building and have been more willing to voice open criticism, including, the two Western officials said, via Thursday’s planned vote.
A U.S. abstention would have been seen as a parting shot by Obama, who has made the settlements a major target of his – ultimately futile – peace efforts.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel, called Trump on Thursday, a Trump transition official said, saying they spoke broadly about laying the ground for Middle East peace.
Sisi’s office said the two leaders spoke.
“The presidents agreed on the importance of affording the new U.S. administration the full chance to deal with all dimensions of the Palestinian case with a view of achieving a full and final settlement,” presidency spokesman Alaa Yousef said.
The resolution would demand Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” and said the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
Egypt, currently a Security Council member, worked with the Palestinians to draft the text. [Continue reading…]
Haaretz reports: Earlier on Thursday, the French ambassador to Israel said that the draft UN Security Council resolution against the settlements submitted by Egypt is balanced and matches France’s position, and that she expects her country to support it.
Hélène Le Gal also said that it was Israel’s settlement policy, in particular the advancement of the outpost legalization bill, that pushed Egypt and the international community to promote an anti-settlement resolution in the Security Council. The statements by some Israeli ministers that Israel should launch a wave of settlement construction and take the two-state solution off the table also gave a push to the Security Council move, she added.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.760719 [Continue reading…] [All emphasis mine.]
Trump’s transition team says Sisi initiated the call to Trump, while Sisi’s office says Trump called the Egyptian president.
Note that the Reuters report hedges on the question of who called who by leaving that question unanswered by Sisi’s office.
Given that all the reporting agrees that it was Israel that initiated this effort by calling Trump, it seems unlikely that Trump then sat around waiting for a call from Sisi.
Therefore, it seems highly probable that when a Trump transition team member said that Sisi initiated the call to Trump, this was a lie.