A new initiative by the French aims to revive the long-dead peace talks surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the Palestinians have demonstrated they are not interested in making peace with Israel, the basic premise of the initiative is riddled with pro-Palestinian bias and it does not appear to take Israel’s concerns into account. So why is France moving forward with this futile effort?
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher.
This Friday, France will host a summit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – a meeting to which the Palestinians and Israelis are not invited – to discuss how to move forward on the stalled so-called peace process.
Foreign ministers from a number of major European countries, including a few from some Arab states, will be in attendance. US Secretary of State John Kerry will be present as well.
Israel has long been critical of the French Peace Initiative as it has come to be called, since it does not take Israel’s security concerns into account and offers the Palestinians an exit strategy. The Initiative is based on the idea that if Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree on a solution to the conflict within a specified amount of time, France will automatically recognize a Palestinian state.
This hare-brained approach clearly means that if the Palestinians sit back and do nothing, they will have a state. So why should the Palestinians negotiate at all?
In fact, in February of this year, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that the Palestinians will “never” return to direct negotiations with Israel.
Furthermore, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, often critical of Israel, said the country “has truly become today the last bastion of fascism, colonialism and racial discrimination in the world.”
With this unwillingness to negotiate directly with Israel – the only way to arrive at true peace – and this type of anti-Semitic rhetoric, why does France believe it will make any headway in changing attitudes in the Middle East toward making peace with Israel?
The fact is, that it won’t. And the French clearly never intended to be able to change attitudes. The sole purpose of the French Initiative is to win favor with the Arab states and if it means recognizing a Palestinian state and risking Israeli fury, then so be it.
Furthermore, even though France, the US, the EU, Norway and other donor countries were made aware by Israel that the foreign aid they provide to the Palestinian Authority is used to pay salaries to terrorists, France continues to fund the PA’s budget, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
This blatant, blasé attitude by France clearly shows it has no interest in generating true peace between Israel and the Palestinians and has no intention of taking Israel’s legitimate security concerns into account.
Israel is already infuriated by the French Initiative and has made a number of attempts to sway France to abandon this ludicrous idea, but to no avail. France is forging ahead.
With this in mind, Israel should plan and publish its intentions for Judea and Samaria, and how it aims to contend with the Palestinian problem in the years ahead.
If Israel fails to introduce its own initiative, other countries will follow France’s lead and will attempt to force a bad solution to the conflict on Israel.
Israel must introduce its own initiative – one that first and foremost protects Israel with secure and recognized borders.
Kierkegaard is right. The French, falling hook, line and sinker for the Palestinian narrative and ignoring the truth about the Middle Eastern conflict, have allowed themselves to be fooled twice.
By: Eric Miller, United with Israel