Time is running out before the Oval Office changes hands, and in Jimmy Carter's mind, that leaves a limited window for one major thing on America's to-do list: helping Palestine receive UN membership by granting diplomatic recognition before President Obama leaves the White House. In his opinion piece for the New York Times, the 39th president lays out his argument, starting with the Camp David Accords signed during his own administration in the late '70s, meant to jump-start a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt and, therefore, the entire Middle East. Carter notes how Obama has tried to keep to that code, as well as to the UN Security Council resolution it was based on after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, by standing firm on 1967-dictated borders and against illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory.
Now, however, "the commitment to peace is in danger of abrogation," Carter laments, pointing out even more settlements are being built and that Israeli settlers are able to enjoy citizenship and legal benefits their Palestinian counterparts don't—"hastening a one-state reality that could destroy Israeli democracy and will result in intensifying international condemnation of Israel." And so he's calling for a Security Council resolution to guarantee peace for both sides, which, combined with UN membership and US recognition, would "bolster moderate Palestinian leadership" while simultaneously assuring Israel the world is looking out for its security, too—a two-state solution he says has been a long time coming. "I fear for the spirit of Camp David. We must not squander this chance," he notes. Carter's whole argument is here. (Russia recently took credit for a Mideast peace "breakthrough.")