Israeli UN Envoy: Paris Peace Conference a Reward to Palestinians for Avoiding Negotiations While Promoting Terrorism
The international diplomatic conference set to be held in Paris on Sunday and attended by outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry will be a “reward to the Palestinians for continuing to avoid negotiations while promoting terrorism,” Israel’s UN envoy said on Thursday.
Ambassador Danny Danon sounded the alarm about potential moves against Israel at the UN next week before US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.
“We are witnessing an attempt to promote a last-minute initiative before the new US administration takes office,” Danon said. “Supporters of the Palestinians are looking for further anti-Israel measures at the Security Council.”
“The hypocrisy and the obsessive focus on Israel has reached new heights,” Danon went on to say. “These one-sided initiatives not only fail in bringing us closer to peace, but they actually encourage terrorism like we saw in last week’s horrific attack in Jerusalem.”
Meanwhile, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Friday that Israeli Foreign Ministry officials were trying to water down the text of whatever document comes out of the Paris conference.
The summit will be “the swan song of the Obama era,” an Israeli diplomatic official told nrg. “Its goal is to hang on to the two-state vision.”
The prevailing opinion in Jerusalem, the report said, is that the final product of the conference will be “parve,” as it will be difficult for France to get all of the 70 nations represented at the Paris confab to agree on tough wording. But, the report added, Israeli diplomats are nevertheless working to prevent less rosy scenarios.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that a draft document urges Israel and the Palestinians to “officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution” as the “only way to achieve enduring peace” and says the international community “will not recognize” changes to the pre-1967 armistice lines without agreement from both sides.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting AIPAC delegation in Jerusalem that he was concerned there might be a “repetition” next week of last month’s passage of an anti-settlement Security Council resolution.
“We’re doing our best [and] we hope that you’ll do your best to exert the influence that it doesn’t happen, because it pushes peace further away because it’s unfair,” he said.
The previous week, Netanyahu told a group of Israeli ambassadors at a Foreign Ministry conference in Jerusalem, “The Paris conference is a futile conference, but there are signs that they will try to take decisions reached there and have them become another decision at the UN Security Council.”
Last Sunday, ex-Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold cautioned, “On Jan. 17, again the UN will reconvene and it will probably discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and if there is a conclusion to this meeting in Paris [on Jan. 15], that conclusion may find its way to New York.”
“This is objectionable to Israel,” Gold — who served as the Jewish state’s UN envoy in the late 1990s — went on to say. “What Israel learned through many years of negotiations and diplomacy, from the days of [the late former Foreign Minister] Abba Eban to the period of Benjamin Netanyahu, was that the only way we resolve our differences with our neighbors is by sitting face-to-face at the peace table.”