Tuesday, June 2, 2020

"On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the voice of France has died out"

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Tribune. As soon as Donald Trump announced his peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday, January 28, which he describes as"Agreement of the century", the Quai d'Orsay hastened to issue a press release welcoming the efforts of the American president in favor of a two-state solution that is in accordance with international law and internationally recognized parameters. This hasty French position, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes that it must carefully examine the plan which was not previously communicated to it, is surprising in several respects. All indications are that, taking cognizance of the essential elements of the American initiative, international law is properly flouted by Israel with the determined support of the United States since the election of Mr. Trump.

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United Nations Security Council resolutions have prevented neither the Hebrew state of East Jerusalem and the United States from setting up their embassy there, nor the spread of settlement in the West Bank (435,000 settlers in 130 colonies). The most recent UN resolution, dating back to 2016, with which the Obama administration was associated, clearly condemned the continuation of colonization, "In flagrant violation of international law". France and the European Union have multiplied, without real conviction, declarations declaring for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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Since his election, Emmanuel Macron has remained discreet on this issue, yet at the heart of France’s diplomatic action for decades, and has been content to resume the European doxa. The impression dominates, since the mandates of Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, that French diplomacy is devoid of a global strategic vision on the different crises of the Middle East, which add up and feed each other. To isolate the center of tension in Palestine, while its symbolic burden weighs on other regional crises, is a mistake in perspective. Faced with tragic situations in recent years, especially in Gaza, emotional diplomacy, and therefore short time, has prevailed over the diplomacy of anticipation and long time.

French alignment with America

Recent polls show that the majority of Palestinians no longer believe in the creation of their state and give preference to a single state, in which they hope to enjoy the same rights as the Israeli population. But at the same time, they fear that they will have to face an apartheid situation (the word is no longer taboo in Israel itself). Already, the nation-state law of the Jewish people, adopted by the Knesset in July 2018, formalizes discrimination against Israeli Arabs.

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