Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will
hold a special meeting with Israeli ambassadors in the European Union in Vienna this weekend to discuss ways of countering the Palestinians' UN bid, Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth learned Sunday.
Lieberman has stated several times that unilateral action by the Palestinians will be met with a tough Israeli
response. He is now hoping to find a way to convince as many European nations as possible to oppose the Palestinian move.
Israel is aware that the Palestinians enjoy an automatic majority in the UN and that a resolution at the General Assembly is almost certain to pass. It is therefore trying to get the backing of as many powerful nations to vote against the proposal.
Sources at the Foreign Ministry
said that the goal is to convey to EU leaders that the Palestinians could only lose from such a step which would result in a cessation of the peace process and a deep diplomatic crisis with Israel.
A senior official said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
is trying to persuade the world that obtaining UN recognition would make it easier for him to negotiate with Israel without preconditions but in fact the PA's bid would only block any chance of peace talks and serve to escalate matters on the ground further.
An upgrade from observer status to non-member state has no practical meaning in the UN itself but it can allow the PA to file lawsuits against Israeli officials with the International Court of Justice.
Itamar Eichner is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent