France's extraordinary decision to try and resurrect the dead two-state solution smacks of:
1. Abject surrender to PLO demands for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State outside the parameters defined by Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.
2. A desperate attempt to appease France's 6.1 million Muslims (as at 2014) as they protest against the continuing state of emergency declared after the series of co-ordinated attacks by Islamic State in Paris last November that saw 130 people murdered and 368 wounded.
France made its intentions clear in the following statement released on 30 January by Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius:
France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the two-state solution
Mr Fabius issued this veiled threat on France 24:
If this attempt to achieve a negotiated solution reaches a dead end, we will take responsibility and recognize the Palestinian state...
Respected commentator Aaron David Miller has already delivered his verdict on the proposed International conference in a scathing twitter:
Another bone headed French play.Convene a peace conference doomed to fail; then recognize a faux Palestinian state
In its Spring 2015 Global Attitudes Survey the Pew Research Centre found that 76% of France's population had favourable views of France's Muslim population whilst 24% had unfavourable views.
France no doubt hopes that calling this pro-Arab international conference will stem any growth in the anti- Muslim view in the next Pew Survey. Given the violent ongoing Muslim demonstrations such hope is doomed.
France's Muslim population far exceeds that of the 475000 Jewish population whose number has been dramatically declining following 851 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2014 and 806 attacks in 2015.
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