We just received the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Statement, and here’s what they have to say about the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP).
Well, first of all, I love the name: MEPP. Sounds like the way Israelis pronounce “Map.” Is it a hint?
So, here’s the press release, by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia:
G8 Foreign Ministers confirmed their commitment to a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East… The Ministers welcomed President Obama’s visit to the region and his statement that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is necessary, just and possible.. The Ministers stressed that a long term solution to this conflict can be achieved only through direct negotiations, taking note of the 23 September 2011 statement of the Middle East Quartet. Ministers called on parties to refrain from unilateral actions and to create an atmosphere conducive to peace. They strongly reaffirmed that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations.
Wait a minute, wait a minute, we interrupt this press release to examine the information therein: they “called on parties to refrain from unilateral actions”? But one of the sides, the PLO, in a stunning unilateral act, breaking the very foundation of the Oslo Accords, applied to the UN general assembly last year, to receive an “upgrade” to statehood – and guess who supported the move? France, Italy, Japan and Russia. And two other G8 states, Britain and Germany, abstained. Only the U.S. and Canada out of this bunch voted against.
Do they really think our memories are that short? Is this a planet populated largely by goldfish?
OK, go ahead with the press release, but I must register my profound dumbfoundedness.
Ministers expressed grave concerns about the poor state of the Palestinian economy, and the impact this has on Palestinian state-building efforts. Ministers affirmed their support for the Palestinian Authority and encouraged Arab countries, as well as emerging economies, to extend the fullest assistance possible to revitalizing the Palestinian economy.
Do you know who revitalizes the Palestinian economy? I’ll tell you a story:
In late 2012, former Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz halted the transfer of tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, to pay the Palestinians’ debt to the Israel Electric Company. But following US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel last month, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to release the withheld funds as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority.
The debt is estimated at $125 million.
As my friend Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu reported in this space in late March, the IEC spokesperson stated that “if there is no alternative, the utility will have to record the debt in its books as lost debt and ask the Public Utilities Authority to recognize it as an expense to be covered by electricity tariffs.”
Rates will have to be increased approximately 3 percent for one year to cover the debt, but that is only for electricity and does not cover other PA debts.
Tzvi commented: “Three percent would not be so bad by itself, but it would come on top of a 6.5 percent hike that was approved” earlier.
So now you understand who is revitalizing the Palestinian economy? The very people whose children they firebomb and stone on the highways.
Back to the G8 press release (in case you haven’t lost your breakfast yet):
The Ministers welcomed the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire of 21 November 2012 which ended hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel, condemned rocket attacks in contravention of this and urged all sides to uphold their commitments.
What commitments? The Hamas has no commitments, other than the vow to destroy Israel. I’m starting to suspect that this is what the G8 is expecting them to uphold.