Arab terror groups banded together over the weekend to reject the French peace summit launched Friday by President Francois Hollande in Paris.
Close to 30 world leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attended the conference, which focused on how to advance peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
But neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority were invited to the gathering. Moreover, although the Palestinian Authority has expresssed its support for the multilateral summit, which allows the PA to once again evade any direct negotiations with Israel over final status issues, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said plainly the conference is simply another repetition of good will put to no use.
Direct talks at home would be a much more efficient use of the time and money spent on this effort, Netanyahu pointed out, since both relevant parties are located less than an hour apart from each other. Nevertheless, Netanyahu has said he is perfectly willing to engage in direct talks with PA leader Mahmoud Abbbas in Paris, if he is unwilling to meet him at home in the Middle East.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, former lead negotiator for the PA, however, praised the multilateral French initiative in a statement that called the conference a “very significant step” that would help end Israel’s “colonization and apartheid policies in occupied Palestine.”
Erekat warned the alternative, if the initiative proved unsuccessful, would be a future of “extremism and bloodshed rather than for coexistence and peace. “We negotiated bilaterally with Israel, the occupying power, for over two decades, but they continue to violate all the agreements that we had signed,” he said.
Erekat did not mention the numerous vicious attacks on Israeli civilians by bloodthirsty Arabs from the Palestinian Authority, including some members of the PA’s own security force. Nor did he mention the PA government’s incessant, multilateral institutional incitement against Jews, Israelis and the State of Israel, all violations of Step 1 of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, together with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) issued a joint statement Saturday that said “the ideas suggested by France as an initiative impose a dangerous violation against agreed-upon national rights, especially the right of return.”
In their statement the groups rejected the initiative and all actions that would lead to a return to ‘fruitless negotiations.’ They blamed the world for “increasing settlement building and providing a cover for the Judaization of Jerusalem,” according to the Bethelem-based Ma’an news agency and called on the countries of the world to take ‘serious actions to stop Israeli crimes’ and to end Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Israel is in agreement with the terrorist groups about the useless outcome of the talks, albeit for different reasons.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said bluntly as early as April, and has continued to say, that “the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is through direct negotiations.”
Netanyahu has voiced his support for seeking the assistance of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi towards this end; El-Sisi is a leader local to the region who understands the nuances of leadership in the two populations as well or better than anyone else. El-Sisi, however, has expressed support for the French initiative, at least for now.Hana Levi Julian