Righteously Preaching to the Disinterested
"It is not a question of dictating to the parties ... Only direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to peace. No one will do it in their place."
"The world cannot, should not resign itself to the status quo."
French President Francois Hollande
"[A two-state solution is] threatened [and must be reinforced]."
"Given where things are going and what is happening, that is particularly important [to endorse the communique resulting from the Paris Mideast peace conference]."
"This is not the right time [for the U.S. to move its embassy to Jerusalem]. We think it's ill-advised."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
"[Israel and the Palestinians are urged to] officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution."
Mideast peace conference closing declaration
|Thomas Samson, Reuters -- Paris Peace Conference|
"We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them - indeed which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis - and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American President when the U.S. will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement."So here it is, a statement issued by a consensus of sanctimonious opinion arrived at when representatives of 72 nations, called together by the Government of France to sit in judgement on a nation desperate to preserve itself from the forces seeking endlessly to destroy it, intimating that this nation of Jews -- among an ocean of hostile Islamic nations supporting the inalienable rights of Palestinians to covet and challenge by whatever means manipulable to take ownership of heritage Judaic land and sacred sites -- is to blame for the inability of both sides to come to a peaceful accommodation.
"There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace."
British Foreign Office statement
Israelis, who have experienced constant violent assaults on civilians by Palestinians who have systematically been incited from childhood to their adult years to view Jews as interlopers and threats to the Arabs' aspirations to take possession of a geography they claim as theirs, while prodding the international community through public relations and slanderous BDS campaigns to view Israel as an illegitimate state, are held responsible for the 'plight' of the Palestinians. That plight resulting from the original refusal to accept the partition offered by the United Nations.
Consolidated over the years by one refusal after another to accept Israeli offers for settlement of geographical disputes, turning that refusal into a permanent state of 'oppressive occupation' forced on Palestinians by an 'apartheid' state. The global community appears to feel comfortable with naming Israel an apartheid state, responsible for the stalemate in negotiations, even while 20 percent of the Israeli population represents Israeli Palestinian citizens of the state. Among them Arab Christians, Kurds and Druze, all Israeli citizens.
And the Palestinian Authority which steadfastly refuses to recognize a Jewish State, and which has stated unequivocally that no Jews would ever be permitted to live amongst Arabs in a Palestinian State, celebrates itself as a noble and courageous 'resistance' to the apartheid occupier. The state of 'occupation' thrust upon Israel, resulting from never-ending violent assaults by Palestinians. Israel surrendered all of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority represented by Fatah. Which their rivals Hamas, championing the destruction of Israel, wrested from Fatah, to use the Strip as a launching pad for rockets aimed at Israel.
That's quite the precedent for clearing any Jewish presence out of land claimed by Palestinians, despite the very real fact that the lands that settler-communities are on in the "West Bank" represent land traditionally part of the ancient Judaic empire. Now, 72 nations focus on what they convince themselves is Israeli intransigence to sue for peace with the unfortunate Palestinians. And nations which are themselves embroiled in domestic human rights abuses sit in judgement on a nation whose actions are based on humanitarian, liberal-democratic values and survival.
The final declaration of the Paris conference that wrapped up on Sunday afternoon did give brief mention to PA incitement and "terror" in reference to attacks on Israel, but this, it seems, is an issue readily overlooked, as though with the general consensus that Israel's very presence is a provocation of Palestinians. John Kerry, like his president, now voices his contempt for Israel which failed to take the advice of the Obama administration conveyed by its Secretary of State; payback time tastes so bitter-sweet to the outgoing.
And what do the Palestinians think about the conference? Depends on who you're asking. Official PA representatives are pleased no end, since it was largely their perspective for Western consumption that was being expressed on the part of the conference. "Today two states is possible; tomorrow … [it] might be too late, because Israel is slipping into a situation in which it will be an apartheid state by de jure and by de facto", according to Mohammad Shtayyeh, senior adviser on negotiations to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, using the language beloved of the West.
Yet, according to a recent poll undertaken by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, most Palestinians claim to believe the two-state solution is no longer viable. "We want a one-state solution where we return to our lands. I want to go back to my country. I don’t care who will rule me. There will be elections, I will have a vote", claimed Nashat Salhieh, a refugee living in the Al-Amari refugee camp not far from Mr. Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah.
Even the Palestinians themselves are fed up with negotiations that have not gone anywhere. Now, 36 percent of Palestinians support a single state and some, as far as they're concerned claim they would willingly live under Jewish rule, that in fact their lives were better before the Palestinian Authority was formed to administer the two territories semi-autonomously, that Israeli employers had treated them better and paid them on time. Reflecting the reality of internal divisions, a stagnant economy, and widespread corruption.
The Christian Science Monitor interviewed Palestinians for a recent article related to the issue, where a young man, fearing employment repercussions, asked to be unnamed, and said four of his brothers were arrested in 2002 and given life sentences. He had never held any trust in a two-state solution despite having a teaching job in Jerusalem. "I always told them, [his friends] you are wrong. And now they are all like me. I want one state – a Palestinian state from the river to the sea." But he wants it to be run by "completely different leaders" than those now in power.
"We [Palestinians and Israelis] have lived with each other so long that we cannot separate from each other. I believe in one state with Israel because in my view a Palestinian state would need to be based on religion, on Islam, and this will not happen. [Palestinians want] all of [the land,] without Israel. We cannot live with the Israelis because they are uncomfortable with us and we are uncomfortable with them", said a grinning, self-contradicting Motassem, a Ramallah mechanic.