Hundreds Gather Outside French UN Mission to Protest Paris ‘Persecution Summit’
Hundreds gathered outside the French Mission to the United Nations in New York City on Thursday to protest the Middle East peace summit being held in Paris on Sunday.
“America’s Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach called the conference “a persecution summit” detrimental to both Israel and the residents of the Palestinian Authority — neither of which would be represented at the event.
“How could you possibly support the oppression of the Palestinian people under a dictator named Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected to a four-year term and is currently serving his 11th year?…European powers have never cared about the freedom of the Palestinian people…[who will only be subjected] to more brutality, more oppression, to greater denial of human rights.”
To chants of “Am yisrael chai” (“Long live the people of Israel”), Boteach called the Jewish state the “only shining beacon of democracy and light in the Middle East,” which has been unfairly singled out for persecution and must do all it can to combat those who seek its downfall.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind criticized US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for “trying to do damage up until the very last moment” of their tenure, by leading the charge against Israel at the UN, most recently with the passage of Security Council Resolution 2234, which called Israeli settlements beyond the 1949 armistice lines “illegal.”
“Let us thank God we have a fresh wind blowing and new leadership in the White House,” he declared, calling on the incoming Trump administration to “do what Israel just did and stop funding the UN. It is a cesspool…We can find better use for $3 billion.”
Lauri Regan, the New York chapter president of the Washington DC-based think tank Endowment for Middle East Truth — one of the many pro-Israel and Jewish advocacy groups that sponsored the rally — said she was not surprised by France’s central role in the summit, as a country known for its history to “surrender, whether to Germans or Muslims.”
In light of the passage of the anti-Israel resolution, she said, the Trump administration “will be facing a difficult situation that Obama intentionally imposed on it in the hopes of tying its hands and forcing Israel back to the ‘Auschwitz borders,’” using the term coined by late Israeli statesman Abba Eban.
The Paris summit, the stated aim of which is to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, was condemned on Thursday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting with Norway’s foreign minister.
“It’s a rigged conference, rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances. This pushes peace backwards. It’s not going to obligate us. It’s a relic of the past. It’s a last gasp of the past before the future sets in,” Netanyahu stated.
The Palestinians have openly welcomed the French initiative.
The last round of peace talks, mediated by the US, collapsed in 2014.