In case there is any doubt about what the United Nations would like to do, and quickly, about the Israel-Palestinian confilict, the institution's governing body, the UN Security Council, is set to meet tomorrow, on Tuesday, 17 January.
Anticipating the meeting, Security Council President Olof Skoog of Sweden, held a press conference on the third day of the new year. Even then, he was anticipationg yesterday's Middle East peace conference in Paris, a confab attending by representatives from 70 nations.
The reason 2334 is passed is because the United States of America, for the very first time, refused to veto a resolution that makes demands upon the Jewish state; specifically, demands which, by their nature, purport to usurp Israel's sovereign right to legislate its own affairs and negotiate its own conflicts. The vote also took place under cover of holiday distractions, especially in the US and Israel.
Among other things, 2334 said all Israeli "settlement activities" are illegal, "demanded" that they cease, and refused to "recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, including Jerusalem."
While the Final Declaration from Paris "welcomed" Resolution 2334, including its condemnation of settlement activity, it did not make any explicit reference to 1967 lines nor to Jerusalem in reference to those lines.
Instead, it called "on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem..."
Both on and off the record, a number of Israeli officials have expressed concern that tomorrow's meeting would attempt to impose some kind of deadline. One possibility, it has been thought, is that the Security Council might pass a follow-up resolution in which it set a deadline for a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The penalty for not meeting that deadline might be an imposed UN solution that created a Palestinian state by fiat.
Could this happen tomorrow?
It is possible. But the softened language out of Paris indicates that such a step is unlikely, at least at this time.
One indicator of a strategic retreat from Resolution 2334 came from Great Britain, a permanent member of the Security Council. By sending an ambassador to Paris instead of its Foreign Minister, the United Kingdom has signaled a softening toward its demands; a softening, but not withdrawal.
On the other hand, the departing US Obama administration, still in power tomorrow, has shown a hardening of its stance toward Israel vis-a-vis 2334. Kerry's swan song policy sermon on December 28 was, if nothing else, a long-winded, patronizing lecture aimed at the Jewish state, pounding the pulpit with 2334's judgmental doctrines.
The UN Security Council convenes its "Open Debate" on the Middle East tomorrow morning in New York City, Eastern Time.