The announcement by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that France will host a meeting of ministers from 20 countries in Paris on May 30 to try and relaunch the Israel-Palestinian peace process seems to be yet another flight of fancy that is destined to end up where the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap presently find themselves after decades of fruitless negotiations.
Who those 20 countries are that will attend such a meeting will make fascinating reading.
The other 173 member States of the United Nations should be miffed at not being invited to enjoy the sights, sounds, food and wine of Paris as it seeks to put behind it:
- The devastating Islamic terrorist attack on 13 November last that claimed the lives of 130 people and wounded 352 others.
- The assault on a police station on 7 January last by a jihadist wearing a fake explosive belt attacking police officers with a meat cleaver while shouting "Allahu Akbar". He was shot dead and one policeman was injured. The ISIS flag and a clearly written claim in Arabic, were found on the attacker.
Ayrault said the conference aimed to prepare an international summit in the second half of 2016 which would include the Israeli and Palestinian leaders – acknowledging that:
The two sides are further apart than ever...
He then proceeded to issue this mantra that has almost become commonplace in trying to end the Jewish-Arab conflict:
There is no other solution to the conflict than establishing two states, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, living side by side in peace and safety with Jerusalem as a shared capital.
The French Foreign Minister needs to understand there are other solutions - one involving the allocation of sovereignty of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) between Jordan and Israel – the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine – who have since 1946 and 1948 respectively enjoyed sovereignty in 95% of the territory once called “Palestine”.
Ayrault has reportedly said the discussions would be based on the 2002 Saudi peace initiative — approved by the Arab League but not Israel.
That decision in itself will guarantee the failure of the French initiative.
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