Israel: Netanyahu reiterates opposition to French peace initiative

Ma’an News Agency | – –

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Monday his rejection of a French initiative for an international peace conference to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stating once again that he would only consider “direct negotiations” with Palestinian leadership without Palestinian preconditions.

“Peace just does not get achieved through international conferences, UN-style,” Netanyahu said following a meeting with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “It doesn’t get to fruition through international diktats or committees from countries around the world who are sitting and seeking to decide our fate and our security when they have no direct stake in it.”

“You said that direct talks are very difficult right now,” Netanyahu added, speaking to Valls. “And you’re right. They are, but they’re the only way to proceed towards peace.”

Netanyahu has repeatedly opposed France’s efforts this year to organize a peace conference which will reportedly aim for the establishment of a future Palestinian state along 1967 borders and a shared capital of Jerusalem.

Members of the Middle East Quartet — the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States — as well as members of the Arab League and other nations are set to work together starting in late May or early June on a number of aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including economic development, security, and incitement.

Israeli and Palestinian authorities would only be included in the peace process starting in the fall.

On Monday, Netanyahu urged Valls to “encourage (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas to accept this French initiative: direct negotiations without preconditions, between the Israeli prime minister, the Palestinian president in Paris.”

However, Netanyahu demanded that these hypothetical negotiations be based on the precondition of “two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”

Netanyahu also echoed past comments on his willingness to immediately enter direct negotiations with Abbas.

“I’m ready to clear my schedule and fly to Paris tomorrow — well, I think tomorrow we’re expanding the government, but the day after tomorrow, Manuel,” Netanyahu said. “And it’s an open offer. I will clear my calendar, and I hope that this is taken up by you and by the Palestinians.”

In a visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank last week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault made a barbed allusion to Netanyahu’s recurring affirmation that Abbas was always welcome to meet with him, saying that words “weren’t enough.”

“I know his (Netanyahu’s) stances,” Ayrault said at the time. “He has one option, which is direct negotiations. I note that this option is blocked.”

Ayrault also warned that an upcoming report from the Middle East Quartet, which is expected to form a basis for the peace initiative, would likely not sit well with Netanyahu.

“I told Mr. Netanyahu: ‘Do not expect praises.’”

The Palestinian Authority has expressed hope for the initiative, and in April shelved the submission of a new anti-settlement resolution to the UN out of fear that doing so could thwart progress of new French proposals.

All past efforts towards peace negotiations have failed to end the decades-long Israeli military occupation or bring Palestinians closer to an independent contiguous state.

The most recent spate of negotiations led by the US collapsed in April 2014.

Israel claimed the process failed because the Palestinians refused to accept a US framework document outlining the way forward, while Palestinians pointed to Israel’s ongoing settlement building and the government’s refusal to release veteran prisoners.

A number of Palestinian activists have criticized pushes for a two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.

Via Ma’an News Agency

Related video added by Juan Cole:

CCTV: “French prime minister visits Israel pushing for peace”

8 Responses

    • Truth. Israeli “peace” in regards to Palestine and Lebanon is no peace at all. It’s farce, and anyone can see it.

  1. I do believe that Netanyahu wants piece. I don’t believe he or his government wants peace.

    The EU proposal will not work, just like Oslo didn’t work. One side has all of the power, the other has none.

  2. Why bother? Netanyahu, now with his new “defense minister” has not the slightest wish or need to even attempt “peace”. Why would he, when Israel is in control, nobody supports the Palestinians’ reasonable and legal demands, and Israel takes over more and more land and houses, demolishes more houses, farms, olive trees and ensures it is always “defending itself”.

  3. Netanyahu and Israel do not want peace or a fair two-state settlement. Simple as that.

    The lying coward said it himself before pretending to go back on it– “if I’m elected, there will be no Palestinian state”. The Palestinians are right to refuse to waste time in Israeli “direct negotiations” to say the least.

    • Not so sure. How about taking up the offer -with the proviso the negotiations are broadcast live so the world can judge the sincerity of the two sides?

  4. The binational state is a far better option than the isolated Bantustans which is all Israel would allow. A declaration that the idea of Palestine is dead, and Israel must accommadate Gaza and West Bank into a greater Israel with every inhabitant having full civil rights would pose an awful dilemna for those wanting Jewish supremacy.

  5. Netanyahu’s lying about wanting peace and persecution of the Palestinians has become so ingrained, so unconstrained that it has become habitual,..he will never change on his own and there is no way to make him change. I call him an egg-sucking dog because as every farmer knows, there is only one cure for an egg-sucking dog:

    egg-sucking dog (legal). That the tenacity with which a dog will cling to this habit is justifiable grounds for a sentence of death is, as it turns out, a matter of settled law. “It is a fact of common knowledge that when a dog has once acquired the habit of egg-sucking there is no available way by which he may be broken of it, and that there is no calculable limit to his appetite in the indulgence of the habitual propensity.” Since the behavior is unbreakable, capital punishment was apparently acceptable.
    Netanyahu is personally responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Palestinians including more than 500 children in just the past 2 years. If anyone in the world deserves a death sentence…it is him…

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