Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

New Security Council May Be Cooler to Palestinians

The new composition of the UN Security Council after the election Friday of temporary members to the body will be friendlier to the United States and less inclined to vote for Palestinian inclusion in the council, diplomatic officials and news analysts in New York have said.

Pakistan, Morocco, Togo and Guatemala were elected to the body in a secret ballot; a second vote early this week will give the fifth place to either Azerbaijan or Slovenia, neither of which garnered the necessary majority on Friday to win in the first round.

Guatemala, which replaces Brazil on the council, is considered more amenable to U.S. influence than that country. Morocco, too, is expected to show understanding for the U.S. despite being an Arab League member.

Lebanon, Nigeria, Gabon, Bosnia and Brazil come off the council in January.

Top officials in the Palestinian Authority confirmed over the weekend a report published in Haaretz on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had offered to freeze government construction in the West Bank in return for the Palestinians’ agreeing to resume direct peace talks.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Associated Press that the Palestinians rejected the proposal, which he said was delivered through a third party, because it only applied to building carried out by the state, whereas most construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank is done by private contractors.

“If Netanyahu wants to resume negotiations, he has to say that settlement building will stop. Either it stops or it doesn’t stop,” Erekat said.

On Friday, Haaretz disclosed that Netanyahu’s offer was relayed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, who arrived in the region on Tuesday on a surprise visit, as part of an initiative by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to break the deadlock in the peace process.

Santos has called U.S. President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to brief them on what he said was the “progress” achieved by Holguin during her visit to Israel and the PA.

For more, go to


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.