Mahmoud Abbas' Great Diplomatic Achievement

The breach in the diplomatic protection that the US has provided to Israel might broaden and lead to increased international efforts by the Palestinians. Dr. Ido Zelkovitz on the UNSC resolution on Israeli settlements

The Security Council votes on resolution reiterating its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The vote was 14 in favour, with one abstention (United States). UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The UN Security Council resolution is a big win for Mahmoud Abbas; even his opposition welcomes it.

Since his early days as PLO Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas has chosen diplomatic struggle as his strategy vis-à-vis Israel. The American decision not to veto UNSCR 2334 is a landmark in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and may serve as a major component of Abbas’ legacy.

Abbas’ confidants view the resolution as a major win for the diplomatic approach of the Palestinian President. It is the first instance since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority that a Palestinian resolution has won the support of the UN Security Council. This provides further diplomatic legitimacy for the Palestinian demand for sovereignty along the 1967 borders. This achievement will no doubt be highlighted when the Fatah movement 4 The UN Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements – Mitvim Commentaries marks 52 years since its establishment in early January. There is now hope among the Palestinian public that the Security Council will impose sanctions on Israel, should it continue expanding settlements.

The UN decision to criticize settlements was warmly welcomed not only by the PLO, but also by members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, despite the fact that the resolution clearly supports the idea of two-states for two people, and despite concern among those opposed to the two-state solution over the resolution’s call to maintain Israeli-Palestinian security coordination, and over the lack of clarity on whether the international community will actually apply pressure on Israel.

The breach in the diplomatic protection that the US has provided to Israel might broaden and lead to increased international efforts by the Palestinians. Labelling the settlements as illegal will also encourage radical actors that support a boycott of Israel, without acknowledgment of the Green Line and without differentiation between the state of Israel and the settlements.

For more commentaries by Mitvim Institute experts on the UN Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements, click here.


Dr. Ido Zelkovitz is a Policy Fellow at the Mitvim Institute and Head of Middle Eastern Studies at Yezreel Valley College


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