UN Security Council Members Trash Quartet Roadmap and Two-State Solution

January 19, 2017 by David Singer
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Twelve of the fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council have apparently had a major rethink on the terms of Resolution 2334  which they approved 14-0 on 23 December 2016 with only America abstaining…writes David Singer.

They were among those who issued the Joint Declaration following the Paris Conference held on 15 January – attended by delegations from 70 countries, the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Union, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Thirteen of the fifteen Security Council member States were in Paris including its five Permanent Members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

Absent were New Zealand and Malaysia – two of the four sponsors of Resolution 2334.

The Joint Declaration differs substantially from Resolution 2334 in three fundamental respects:

  1. Resolution 2334 envisages a region where:

“two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders,”

                  The Joint Declaration shredded this objective by affirming:

“that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.”

The “two democratic states solution” in Resolution 2334 was replaced by a vague and nebulous “two state solution” in the Joint Declaration. Gone were secure and recognised boundaries.

  1. Resolution 2334 aims to achieve:

“without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967”

 The Joint Declaration more specifically calls for the resolution of:

“all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973),”

The Quartet Roadmap – so painstakingly put together in 2003 by President Bush calling for negotiations to create a democratic Palestinian State – and under which negotiations had been conducted since then – was unceremoniously dumped in Paris.

This leaves no agreed negotiating framework under which to conduct any resumed negotiations.

  1. Resolution 2234 underscored:

“the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative,”

 The Joint Declaration underscored:

“the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.”

Israel had agreed to negotiate under the Quartet Roadmap but listed 14 reservations – one of which required:

“The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based upon the road map will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.”

Replacing the Quartet Roadmap with the Arab Peace Initiative guarantees no hope for the stalled negotiations to be resumed.

The United Kingdom refused to endorse the Joint Declaration.

It is incredible that the other twelve Security Council member States present – especially the five permanent members – could approve the terms of the Joint Declaration that so materially changes what they voted for or abstained on just three weeks earlier.

They obviously engaged in cherry picking bits and pieces of Resolution 2334 that they had rushed through with unseemly haste and now had second thoughts on.

A new agreed negotiating framework for any two-State solution now needs to be constructed to replace the trashed Quartet Roadmap.

The Security Council looks decidedly stupid and increasingly irrelevant.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


10 Responses to “UN Security Council Members Trash Quartet Roadmap and Two-State Solution”
  1. Roy Sims says:

    It is simply NOT possible to impose a so called peace arrangement on anyone that does not want that peace arrangement.
    Whilst the Arab community is led by groups which have a constitutional charter to exterminate all Jews, there can never be peace can there?
    The United Nations, America under President Obama, and the outlandishly biased European Union have rendered themselves irrelevant in the issues which beset the Middle east.
    Israel. a constitutional democracy, is left with little option but to resist these paranoid rantings of a hopelessly out of touch plethora of ‘experts’ from their North and West, and to just get on with their lives as they have done successfully for the last 70 years. The world community is the beneficial recipient of their outstanding contributions to global technological advancement and medical aid.
    Their opponents in the region have given us terrorism, slaughter of their own citizens, hatred and precious little else.

    • david singer says:


      You are spot on.

      The Security Council and the Paris Conference have together destroyed the framework for negotiations laid down in the Quartet Roadmap and they are obviously wanting to excise the words “democratic Palestinian State” as the necessary end outcome in any future negotiations.

      Israel needs to tell the world – a Palestinian State must be “democratic” – as specified in the Quartet Roadmap and Resolution 2334 or else all negotiations are over with the PLO.

      To make sure this happens Israel needs to adopt the following stance I outlined in an earlier article:

      “Israel should now not fall into the trap of negotiating with any entity less than one already democratically elected and functioning in Areas “A” and “B” of the West Bank and Gaza – nor rely on any promises of democracy emerging there in the future.”

      Hamas and the PLO need to get together and hold fresh elections under international supervision, allow the formation of political parties, guarantee freedom of speech and the rule of law, run a functioning Parliament with a Government and an opposition.

      Isn’t that what “democratic” means?

      Hamas and the PLO have a long way to go before Israel should entertain any further negotiations with either of them to create a second Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:

        But David,

        Governments and the Security Council have been acting arbitrarily in the matter for a long time.
        What is the point of passing any resolutions today if tomorrow they will be repudiated by the very same body that passed them initially?
        We know that what really is at work is realpolitik, not justice or even law.
        As for democracy in the Arab sphere…well, hope springs eternal.

        • Roy Sims says:

          Now Leon,
          The REAL issue here is not about democracy within a particular State.
          It is about recognition, by a group of people in that region, of Israel’s right to exist at all.
          In another place you gave us a good history lesson relating to how the modern State of Israel came into being. As I understand it that process is internationally binding. It cannot legally be undone. Am I right in this?
          If I am, then the message to the “experts” trying to push Israel into a dangerous psuedo peace arrangement is GET OVER IT. Get on with life as it is in the real world. Let Israel negotiate its own security arrangements with its neighbours. Then there will be peace.

          • david singer says:

            Roy and Leon

            Sorry but the issue here is about democracy because this is what the Bush-Quartet Roadmap says:

            “A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors”

            The stipulation was a “democratic” State and that was the basis on which Israel agreed to negotiate and it was confirmed as the final outcome evisioned by Resolution 2334:
            ““two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders,”

            You cannot try and make the word “democratic” vanish into thin air – as the Group of 70 tried to do in Paris and expect Israel to continue to submit to further negotiations on the basis of any “two-state solution” democratic or otherwise.

            If Israel is stupid enough to continue to negotiate with the PLO on the basis of the Roadmap minus this one critical condition – so be it.

            • Roy Sims says:

              BUT David,
              Be it “democratic” or “autocratic” or any other “cratic” if there is no statement of Israel’s right to existence, how can Israel be expected to participate.
              I wouldn’t, you wouldn’t, no-one in their right mind would.
              Democracy is a word, which conveying so much to you and me (and Leon), is an exceptionally rare commodity in the Arab world.
              And where it exists, is tenuous indeed!!

              • david singer says:


                “Democratic” is just one of the many conditions that need to be met within the framework of the Roadmap negotiations.

                Another are the following two contained in the 14 Reservations by Israel to the Roadmap which Bush agreed to address:

                “In connection to both the introductory statements and the final settlement, declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.
                read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-s-road-map-reservations-1.8935

                Bush did indeed address these Israeli concerns – and others raised in Israel’s reservations – in his letter to Sharon dated 14 April 2004.

                Obama and Kerry tried to weasel out from under by trying to negate those Bush commitments – overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress by 502 votes to 12.

                Hopefully Trump is going to reaffirm the Bush Congress-endorsed commitments.

                America’s reputation for sticking to agreements it makes has been brought to rock bottom by Obama acting as he did. Trump has the opportunity to restore trust and confidence in America once again by reaffirming America’s commitment to the terms of Bush’s letter to Sharon.

                Israel’s former Ambassador to the USA – Michael Oren – has publicly called for those commitments to be resusciated – as did Marco Rubio during the Presidential campaign.

                Watch this space…

  2. John McCormick says:

    New Zealand was not absent as in not there to vote. we are no longer a member of the security council. Who replaced us. Malaysia may be in the same situation.
    John McCormick

    • david singer says:


      New Zealand and Malaysia did not turn up in Paris.

      Whether they were invited at all or declined to attend we do not know.

      However by being fortuitously absent they were both able to distance themselves from 12 of their colleagues on the Security Council who changed their minds in Paris by substantially departing from the terms of Resolution 2344 which they had approved just three weeks earlier.

      Hard to believe – but absolutely true as I point out in my article.

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