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Abbas at the UN in February. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will hold a meeting in New York on Wednesday with senior officials representing 40 countries and international organizations to discuss ways to block or influence the upcoming U.S. Middle East peace plan, Israeli officials and Western diplomats told me.

Why it matters: This is Abbas' most proactive diplomatic step since Trump's Jerusalem embassy announcement, which led him to cut ties with the White House. Since then, Abbas has been campaigning against the Trump administration's policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Abbas is trying to rally the international community against Trump and challenge the White House claims that he's undermining a potential peace process.

  • According to the Israeli officials and Western diplomats, Abbas invited to the meeting all the main countries that have a role or an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
  • All members of the UN Security Council were invited other than the U.S. Israel was also not invited.
  • It will take place at the Grand Hyatt hotel, under the theme: "Salvaging the Two-State Solution, Defending the International Rules-Based System."

According to a document I obtained, which was drafted by the Palestinians and circulated among representatives of the countries who were invited, the meeting has three goals:

  • Discussing steps to defend against the threat posed to the two-state solution by the ongoing and expanding Israeli settlements.
  • Proactively protecting UN agencies and organizations that deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, like UNRWA.  
  • Launching a credible and effective political process that seeks to achieve the two-state solution while reaffirming the centrality of international law and UN resolutions.

The interesting part in the document is the claim that Trump's shift on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of a long series of steps to undermine the world order of the last 70 years.

  • The Palestinians wrote that preserving the two-state solution is one of the basic principles that should be supported by all those who reject Trump's policies that undermine world order.

Israel doesn't like this meeting at all and has ordered diplomats around the world to lobby governments who were invited to the meeting not to attend or to lower their level of representation as much as possible, according to Israeli officials. The Palestinians think most countries will send senior diplomats but not foreign ministers to the meeting.

Go deeper

Asymptotic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.

Biden steps into the breach

Sen. Joe Manchin heads to a meeting with President Biden today. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden ramped up the pressure on his fellow Democrats Wednesday, calling a series of lawmakers to the White House in the hope of ending infighting and getting them in line.

Why it matters: Divisions within the party are threatening to derail Biden's top priorities. After several weeks of letting negotiations play out, the president is finally asserting his power to ensure his own party doesn't block his agenda.