What’s New and What’s Not in the U.N. Resolution on Israeli Settlements

“None of this—the determination of ‘occupation,’ the inclusion of East Jerusalem, the U.S. abstention—was actually new. But two things were: the involvement of Donald Trump, not yet in office, in the process of tabling the resolution; and the sense that this was not merely a condemnation of Israeli settlements, nor an attempt to promote a two-state solution, but an attempt to prevent the worst of the no-solution reality,” Natan Sachs writes for the Brookings Institution.

“If there was any doubt—and there wasn’t—the Security Council again made clear its view on the legality of Israel’s settlements.”

“The U.S. abstention—the focus of a great deal of personal rage against Obama by Netanyahu and others—was not new either… until this latest resolution, Obama had been the only president not to let a resolution critical of Israeli policy pass in the Security Council.”

“Two things changed, quite dramatically, however. First, a new player entered the fray: the U.S. president-elect… Second: there is a new belief among the world powers, and many on the ground, that time is fast running out on the viability of a two-state solution.”

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