WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jimmy Carter urged President Barack Obama to recognize a state of Palestine before leaving office.
Writing Monday in a New York Times op-ed, the former president said before Donald Trump assumes the presidency on Jan. 20, the United States should back a United Nations Security Council resolution that lays down the parameters of a two-state solution, including the rejection of Israeli settlement beyond the 1967 lines and guarantees for Israeli security.
The resolution would recognize the Palestinian entity as a state, as a number of other countries have already done.
Otherwise, said Carter, who brokered the 1978 Camp David peace accords between Egypt and Israel, the two-state solution is at risk.
“This is the best — now, perhaps, the only — means of countering the one-state reality that Israel is imposing on itself and the Palestinian people,” Carter wrote. “Recognition of Palestine and a new Security Council resolution are not radical new measures, but a natural outgrowth of America’s support for a two-state solution.”
Obama has indicated that he would be reluctant to advance any major new policies during his lame-duck period, although administration officials have left open the possibility that he may try to reinforce his commitment to a two-state outcome, perhaps in a speech.
Israel’s government rejects outside pressure to finalize a deal, while the Palestinians have said they would favor U.N. intervention.
A Security Council resolution would have the force of international law, even if Trump, as president, rescinds any recognition of a Palestinian state.