How Would the US Vote on the UN Security Council Resolution on Israeli Settlements?: Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 2/17/2011

TAPPER: Lebanon on the U.N. Council is working on a resolution or has drafted a resolution that would condemn Israel for what it calls illegal settlement activity. Now, I know Dr. Rice has been working on an alternative up there, a presidential statement that would call the settlement activity illegitimate not illegal, but that seems to be going nowhere. If it does come up for a vote in the U.N. Security Council, how will the United States vote on a resolution calling Israeli settlement activity illegal?

CARNEY: Well, first of all, no resolution, Jake, has been put forward for a vote. And I would not want to speculate on what action the United States would take -- may or may not take on that matter. But I would also say that I'm not going to get into details of ongoing private diplomatic discussions in New York, the United Nations, regarding this matter.

We, like every administration for decades, do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity. We believe their continued expansion is corrosive not only to peace efforts and a two-state solution, which we strongly support, but to Israel's future itself. And finally, we have long said that we believe direct negotiations are the only path through which the parties will ultimately reach an agreement. And that's -- and that's what we believe strongly today, as we have in the past.

TAPPER: So it's the position of the White House, as it has been for several White Houses, that settlement activity in Israel is illegitimate, is corrosive to the peace process. Do you think it's illegal?

CARNEY: What we have said is we believe it's illegitimate, and we've been very clear about that. And we also believe that the best forum for making progress in the negotiations, in the peace process, is in direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians in order to reach that goal of a two-state solution with security for both states. And it's far better to pursue that path than others.

-Jake Tapper

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