Can France prove to be more efficient than USA on mediatory efforts for Mideast peace?
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
It is not for nothing that Israel has been so bold and so arrogant towards Palestine and its people. Israel plays its fascist Zionist security card rather too well.
After US failures, now France calls for “negotiations” between besieged Palestine leadership and arrogant Israel. Before we reject outrightly the French call for Mideast peace as being a mischievous effort help Israel, let us consider some issues involved.
US-led efforts to broker a so-called two-state solution collapsed in April 2014 and leaders on both sides have since been weakened politically. But with the region’s crises worsening and Washington reassessing its options on relations with Israel, France sees a narrow window to resume negotiations.
The peace talks between Israel and Palestine mediated by United States have flopped, resulting in the regular genocides of besieged Palestinians because American mediators, like the Zionist leaders, are not sincere enough. Paris said that France does not want to replace the role of the USA in the Middle East but to work together.
In the past, the USA has vetoed UN Security Council resolutions that criticized Israel, but Israeli officials worry that against the background of tensions between the US and Israel, the US could abstain this time, allowing the UN body to recognize Palestine as a full UN member. That would indeed be a positive sign.
Britain and France are urging the UN Security Council to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, while New Zealand has begun drafting a resolution on the issue. This was prompted by the US saying it may “reassess” its position on the stalled talks. France and New Zealand have stressed that it is imperative to act now, given that the Israeli elections are over and there is a current lull in the US before the presidential election campaign heats up. France announced last month that it wanted to begin talks about drafting “parameters” for ending the conflict in the Middle East, with the hopes of bringing the US onboard, which has repeatedly sided with Israel in the past.
France has long called for the creation of a Palestinian State at the end of negotiations. A State for Palestinians is a right, repeatedly reaffirmed, and acknowledged in the partition plan of the mandated Palestine (1947). However, recognition of the State of Palestine must serve peace. That is why France defends the idea that this should happen within the framework of a comprehensive and definitive solution to the conflict, negotiated by the two parties. If negotiation is impossible, or if there are no conclusions, France will shoulder its responsibilities by recognising without delay the State of Palestine.
True, France has long advocated the creation of a Palestinian State. On 22 November 1974, France voted in favour of recognising the PLO in the UN as an observer member, reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. François Mitterrand was the first president who spoke before the Knesset in 1982 about the objective of creating a Palestinian State. In 2010, France enhanced the status of the General Delegation of Palestine in France, which became the Mission of Palestine, headed by an ambassador. It voted in favour of according the State of Palestine non-member observer state status in the United Nations in November 2012.
France is considering a draft resolution submitting to the UN Security Council calling for peace talks to start immediately, and specifies that negotiations on future borders should be based on the 1967 armistice lines with mutually agreed land swaps. It sets a deadline of two years for the process to be completed. If that is not met, then wholesale recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state would follow.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, France would recognize a Palestinian state. He visited recently the Middle East on June 20-22 and met Egyptian President Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
French position on the status of Jerusalem and the issue of Palestinian refugees remains undisclosed.
Laurent Fabius laid out a three-pronged plan in Jerusalem for restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. France’s three-point plan calls for a return to negotiations, an international committee to help mediate problems as they arise and a UN Security Council Resolution about the process. It is this last point that most concerns Israeli officials as they worry that that resolution will call for a complete withdrawal from all of the areas that Israel acquired in 1967—the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
France has been discussing the text of the proposed UN resolution with both Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said that he welcomes Fabius’ proposals and that the Palestinian Authority will do what they can to make it work. Israeli PM B. Netanyahu was far less sanguine however, saying that the only way to reach an agreement is through bilateral negotiations, where the Zionist leadership could have a veto. Israel will forcibly reject any attempts to force international dictates upon the Jewish illegal occupants.
French Foreign Minister, who was on a two-day trip to the Middle East to promote a French-led initiative that would see the peace process relaunched through an international support group comprising Arab states, the European Union and UN Security Council members, has urged Israel and Palestine to return to the negotiating table quickly, warning that the stalemate in the peace process risked setting the conflict “ablaze”. These states would then work to pressure both sides to make compromises that neither wants to make alone. Talks would be rubber-stamped by a UN Security Council resolution setting the negotiating parameters and establishing a time period, possibly 18 months, to complete talks. “It’s been 40 years … we need to adapt the method so that the Arabs, the Europeans, the Americans can accompany things,” Fabius said.
France claims to be a friend of Israel and Palestine. France shares strong historical, cultural and human ties with Israel. France was one of the first countries to recognize the new State and establish diplomatic relations with it in 1949. For 65 years, it has defended Israel’s right to exist, live in security and be a full member of the community of sovereign nations. The Franco-Israeli relationship is also strengthened by the presence of a significant French and French-speaking community in Israel and Europe’s largest Jewish community in France.
France condemns Israel’s illegal settlement activities, which are illegal in international law. Israel settlement building in the territories of the future Palestinian State constitutes illegal appropriation of lands, which should be addressed in peace negotiations between the parties on the basis of the 1967 lines. Settlement activities threaten the viability of a two-state solution. Concrete measures were taken at European level to address the acceleration of settlement activities. EU guidelines adopted in July 2013 do not allow any Israeli entities with activities in settlements to be awarded European funds as from January 2014. Many Member States, including France, issued recommendations warning of the financial, legal and reputational risks related to pursing activities in settlements.
France also condemns without reservation terrorist acts aiming sabotaging hopes for peace.
It is fully committed to the security of Israel; this is a key principle of its policy in the region. That is why it calls on Hamas, which is on the European list of terrorist organisations, to adhere to the conditions set by the Quartet: the renunciation of violence, the recognition of the right of Israel to exist and the recognition of the agreements signed between Israel and the PLO. France has also called on Israel to comply fully with international humanitarian law and to exercise a “proportionate use of force”, particularly in the Gaza conflict in the summer of 2014, causing more than 2,100 victims.
France provides its support to the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, who is on the side of peace. France actively contributes to institution building for the future Palestinian State. It allocated nearly €400 million over the period 2008-2014 to help Palestine, with nearly one third benefiting Gaza. Palestine remains the main beneficiary of French budgetary aid. France also encourages inter-Palestinian reconciliation. It is doing so in order to foster the return of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, which will be part of the Palestinian State. It supports the government of national unity, under the authority of Mahmoud Abbas, which does not include any ministers from Hamas (put on the list of terrorist organisations by the EU in 2003) and meets the criteria set by the Quartet: recognition of Israel, renunciation of violence and acceptance of previous agreements.
France advocates urgent mobilization of the international community. Taking note of the current impasse of the peace process, France calls for a change in the negotiation method. It promotes an increased role of the United Nations Security Council in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It promotes the Security Council’s endorsement of the parameters for resolving the conflict and a timeframe for ending negotiations. France also calls for closer international support to encourage parties to conclude an agreement and a stronger involvement of Arab countries and Europeans alongside the United States. It stands ready to hold an international conference in this connection. It hopes that negotiations can be concluded in the near future.
France considers that the conflict can only be resolved by the creation of an independent, viable and democratic Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel.
The two-state solution is one that fulfils the national aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians. With this in mind, France has defined, with its European partners in a number of conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of ministers of the European Union since 2009, the parameters that should govern resolution of the conflict: Borders based on the 1967 lines with equivalent land swaps; Security arrangements preserving the sovereignty of the Palestinian State and ensuring the security of Israel; A just, fair and agreed solution to the refugee problem; An arrangement making Jerusalem the capital of the two states.
France considers that Jerusalem should become the capital of the two states, Israel and the future State of Palestine Pending a negotiated settlement of the conflict and under internationally recognised resolutions, France does not recognise any sovereignty in Jerusalem. It calls for the easing of tensions and particularly respect of the status quo on holy sites. Any challenging to the status quo would pose a major threat to stability.
Like other European rulers, former French president, François Mitterand also addressed Israel’s parliament Knesset in 1982. Like USA, France has also consistently defended Israel’s right to exist in security, while long advocating the creation of a Palestinian state. It was indeed a mischief played on the Palestinians. Any possible incompatibility between these two positions has never been acknowledged. It certainly kept the Israeli military on perpetual attack mode against Palestinians and also created rift within Palestinians.
Moreover, France is not a great friend of Islamic world but, on the contrary, is at war with Islam as part of US led NATO and therefore would not, like USA has shown, play a genuine mediator rule in helping the Palestinians make he for themselves on their won lands now under Israeli military control.
Former colonial powers, France and Britain were responsible for dismembering the Turkish Ottoman empire and coordinated their efforts World War One in eventual division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and British-administered areas. They also then ratified the division by the then Council of the League of Nations in 1922. France’s direct participation in the creation of the modern Middle East has meant that for the last hundred years it has involved itself in the politics of the region.
Unfortunately France’s initiative, well-meaning as undoubtedly is, is a recipe for continued conflict far into an impenetrable future. France may or may not be sincere about Peace and Palestine but given France’s involvement in the ME region, it is not surprising that it see itself as a possible facilitator of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. Back in August 2009, when it was clear that newly-elected US President Obama was eager to relaunch peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Jewish French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered to host an international conference to facilitate the peace process but it turned out to be a mere show for publicity. France even took the lead in drafting a Security Council resolution outlining proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian final-status deal..
Fascist Israel is still talks about “security” as a pretext to continue reluctant to withdraw from the West Bank, saying the “Islamist terrorist movement” Hamas would soon take control, placing Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion airport and Israel’s major north-south road network within easy reach of toy rocket attack.
Hamasphobia of Israel
The strongest nation in Mideast Israel thrives on lies, on terror attacks on Palestinians, on Hamasphobia. Israeli leaders know well that a weak organization Hamas cannot destroy a nuclear Israel, it can only fire a few toy rockets that would help Israel claim military and economic resources from western powers.
Israel says peace will only come from direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions but only on Israeli terms.
Israel vows to defeat UN resolutions that are brought about by any power. Israel wants to decide the course of future of Mideast.
USA still backs Israel and opposes Palestine. It also does not want any other power to mediate for Mideast peace.
The timing of the initiative is due to the US stating that it might “reassess” its Middle Eastern policies after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly said he was against Palestinian statehood during elections last month.
However, neither France nor USA or UK twins thought along those lines when forcefully imposed a new state of Israel in Palestine an aided it to emerge as a fascist blood sucking nation in Mideast.
It is funny that the deadliest terror state beyond West Asia and even beyond Asian continent calls a besieged Palestine nation as a terrorist state. France and all western powers should fist call Israel a terrorist state and recognize it as such until Israel becomes ready to cooperate with world powers to establish the much delayed Palestine state.