6 February '16..
From the country which falsely accused Alfred Dreyfus of treason and whose Vichy collaborationists enthusiastically rounded up and transported Jews to their deaths, we now await another Gallic gesture of ill will heading in our direction.
Despite domestic problems greater than the Eiffel Tower and a resurgence of Judeophobia unparalleled since the Shoah, the French Foreign Minister and his Government have decided that the only problem menacing world peace is the lack of yet another dysfunctional terror State in Israel’s midst. Their recipe for curing this alleged problem is to convene an international conference whose sole purpose would presumably be to impose some sort of pre-ordained plan. Ostensibly the idea is to get the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis talking again with a view to removing every obstacle which until now has prevented any sort of peace arrangement coming to fruition.
There is only one major fatal flaw. Well, actually there are several.
Abbas and friends have been avoiding talks because they know that one on one negotiation will require concessions. That’s the first fatal flaw because for nearly seventy years they have refused to contemplate any such gesture. In fact during this time they have fed their constituents a daily diet of lies which amongst other things includes a denial of any Jewish legal or historical right to exist in our land. This combined with promises that the original 600,000 refugees, who have since multiplied thanks to UNRWA’s policies to many millions, will all be able to return to places which either no longer exist or are Israeli towns and cities. Made permanent refugees by the rejectionist policies of their own leaders these unfortunates languish in miserable camps. As there is no prospect whatsoever that these refugees will ever be resettled in their host countries (unlike Jewish refugees from Arab countries who were absorbed in Israel) there is no chance that any talks would resolve this issue.
Another insurmountable obstacle is the poisoning of children’s and adults’ minds via a daily dose of hate, incitement and jihadist education. Only someone totally detached from the realties of what goes on in this part of the Arab world would harbour any sort of optimism that talks based on unattainable objectives could succeed.
For all the above reasons every time direct talks have been attempted they have failed. Seventy years of lies and incitement mean that Abbas cannot make any gestures which contradict the fables and falsehoods which have become part and parcel of Palestinian Arab society.
Therefore the best alternative from his point of view is to get the international community in one form or another to gang up on Israel and impose a solution. That way he can avoid responsibility safe in the knowledge that the UN and others will do the dirty work for him. It works because we have seen how revisionist history and an invented narrative have been accepted internationally. The Goebbels technique of repeating a lie often enough until it becomes the accepted truth works every time. No wonder Abbas leapt at the opportunity afforded him by the French when they stated that an international peace conference would be convened in April and talks commenced in July. Israel will be faced with an array of countries all determined to force a settlement which can only be dangerous to its very existence while the Palestinian Arabs will be given a free pass.
The icing on the cake is the arrogant French pronouncement that failure to agree on any of the demands will result in a unilateral recognition of “Palestine” presumably with imposed borders and a division of Jerusalem. As soon as Abbas and colleagues heard this they could hardly contain their glee because now the end result is preordained. All they have to do is play hard to get, make outrageous demands and collapse any direct talks which might start. They are safe in the knowledge that any failure will be blamed on Israel and they will get as a prize, recognition of a fictitious State. If ever there was a recipe for disaster this French sponsored farce takes first prize.
The only thing missing at the moment is for New Zealand’s Foreign Minister to add his two cents worth but no doubt this will happen in due course.
Several weeks ago the PA “foreign minister” made the following statement: “there will be no more negotiations with Israel, ever. We will never go back and sit again in direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Those who have stabbed Israelis have done so because they are born without hope for the future. That is why sometimes they decide to sacrifice their lives at the age of 15 for the better lives of the rest of the Palestinians.”
Do you discern now why direct talks are doomed? Obviously the French and others enthusiastically peddling this tainted package of goods do not get it or more likely do not want to accept the stark truth even when it hits them in the face.
The UN Middle East envoy together with every other Tom, Dick and Harry proclaim with monotonous regularity that the settlements are the main obstacle to peace.
This is of course utter rubbish. Let’s look for a moment at other territories currently occupied by none other than France, USA and UK.
French territories: French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte (claimed by Comoros), New Caledonia, Reunion, Saint Barthelme, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre & Miquelon, Wallis & Futuna plus scattered islands in the Indian Ocean (claimed by Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles and Mauritius).
USA territories: Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, various islands in the North & South Pacific and Polynesia, Wake Island (claimed by Marshall Islands).
United Kingdom territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falklands (claimed by Argentina), Gibraltar (claimed by Spain) and various islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
Think for a moment and then decide what all these overseas territories have in common.
They are all controlled/occupied by countries which have no contiguous connection to them. Any sort of historical connection goes back no more than a few hundred years at the most and any claims that others may have to them are ignored, dismissed and deemed irrelevant. Most of them are settled by settlers who have no historical connection with the territory.
Yet despite these realities the French, Americans and British amongst others have the chutzpah to declare Israel’s connection to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, illegal and invalid. Ignoring the more than three thousand years connection of Jews to territory which is part and parcel of Jewish historical identity is hypocritical in the extreme. Dismissing the legality of San Remo which guaranteed intense Jewish settlement from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River is scandalous. Deliberately obscuring the fact that there was never an Arab Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its Capital and the illegal occupation by Jordan of these territories between 1948 and 1967 is a disgraceful act of conceit and deception. Refusing to acknowledge that the territories in question are a strategic and security requirement exposes current double standards. Excusing and even worse, drawing moral equivalents between Arab terror against Israeli civilians and Israel’s steps to thwart such terror merely demonstrates the depths to which the international community has sunk.
The pontifications of those who currently do control territories should be shoved straight back into their faces. Whether we have leaders with the intestinal fortitude to do this is open to question.
Meantime the message in French to the French should be: occupe toi de tes affaires which in plain English means BUTT OUT!!
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.
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