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December 10, 2017 1:39 pm

France’s Macron Tells Netanyahu to Make ‘Courageous Gestures’ Toward Palestinians, Blasts Trump’s Jerusalem Move as ‘Dangerous Threat to Peace’

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French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a meeting focusing on bilateral ties, Iran, the Middle East peace process, and other regional crises, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France December 10, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that he needed to make gestures to the Palestinians to break the impasse between the two sides.

Netanyahu was in Paris ahead of a meeting with EU foreign ministers on Monday when they will try present a unified front after US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While condemning all acts of terrorism against Israel, Macron said that he told Netanyahu that he was against Trump’s decision, which was a “dangerous threat to peace.”

“I asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to make some courageous gestures toward the Palestinians to get out of the current impasse,” he said, suggesting that a freeze of settlement construction could be a first step.

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He reaffirmed that France believed that a two-state solution was the only viable option to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

European countries, like many nations, have criticized the Trump administration’s decision last week which reversed decades of US policy. Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as capital of a future independent state.

Most countries have maintained the position that decisions about Jerusalem’s status should be left to future negotiations. The Trump administration argues that any future peace deal is likely to place Israel’s capital in Jerusalem, and old policies need to be abandoned to revive the moribund peace process.

Netanyahu responded to Macron by saying that once the Palestinians recognized the “reality” that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, it would enable peace efforts sooner.

“The most important thing about peace is first of all to recognize that the other side has a right to exist,” he said. “One of the manifestations of this refusal is the mere refusal to sit down with Israel.

“Here is the gesture I offer … to Mr. Abbas to sit down and negotiate peace. That’s a gesture for peace. Nothing could be simpler,” he said, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Macron said that he did not expect any breakthrough in the short-term, but it was important to see what a proposed US peace initiative expected early next year would look like before writing Washington off as a mediator in the conflict.

“I don’t think we need more initiatives,” Macron said, ruling out a new French mediation effort after holding a peace conference in Paris last January.

When asked about discontent across the region over Trump’s decision, including harsh criticism from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Netanyahu said he would not be given morality lectures by the Turkish leader.

He said that many Arab nations were increasingly aligned with Israel to tackle Iran’s regional threat.

“Many Arab countries recognize that Israel is not their enemy but their indispensable ally,” he said.

“Countries in the region who do not have formal relations with us yet. Those can grow, but it doesn’t mean there will be a formal peace without some progress with the Palestinians.”

Netanyahu said he sought to use closer ties with Arab countries to isolate extremists and counter Iran.

“What Iran is trying to do is to entrench itself militarily with land, air and naval forces in Syria with the express purpose of fighting and destroying Israel. We will not tolerate that and we back up our words with actions,” he said.

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  • Dennis Cutler

    There is only one gesture the Israelis could possibly make to advance peace and that is NEVER going to happen. It has NOTHING to do with settlements. It has everything to do with a group of people totally dedicated to destroying the Jewish people. It has nothing to do with the West Bank. It has everything to do with self annihilation. Israel will not succumb to the idea of negotiating with an enemy dedicated to its destruction. It will survive and prosper in spite of the palestinains and the cowards who refuse to admit that there can be only one solution, one state, ISRAEL. Until the palestinians rejoin the human race, there can only be a one state solution. And that state is Israel. Would anyone suggest the USA to succumb to terrorists?

  • Moshe

    That kid, Macron, has no clue….like the rest of the Europeans raised in atheistic societies. They were never exposed to the Judeo-Christian history on Jerusalem. Before Paris or London or Berlin ever existed, Jerusalem was already the capital of Israel. Macron’s suggestion that he has some new found wisdom is just simple chutzpa!

  • cbusa

    Israel’s last major gesture was to evacuate Gaza. Instead of moving closer towards peace, it resulted in tens of thousands of rockets and a huge terror infrastructure on Israel’s border. What sort of “courageous gesture” must Abbas make in return? All he does is provoke continued violence.

  • We are at war for our survival
    Many, stubbornly and foolishly do not put the pieces together and refuse to identify the Arab evil doers as evil; they delude and fantasize themselves against past terror, deeds and violations of agreements, that the Arabs do not want to destroy us.
    We are disgracefully politically correct to our detriment and harm and at the cost of life to our people. We must face reality without any illusion and delusion; The Arab-Palestinians want all of Israel without the Jews and will do anything to accomplish it.

    Throughout history the Jews were bullied, used as scapegoats and persecuted by the various nations of the world. The world is not used to seeing a Jew who is strong, armed and fights for his freedom and rights, well the time has come for the world to realize the Jew will never again cower to atrocities and pogroms as happened in the past, since the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, with the Almighty’s help we will and shall persevere against all odds.
    There are no German Luftwaffe overhead or Panzer divisions on our borders. But make no mistake; we the Jewish people are under attack—our values, our tolerance, our freedom, our virtue, our land, and I specify our ancestral land for 4000 years – it was never in history an independent Arab country. The Arabs received over 13 million sq. km. with a wealth of oil reserves plus Jordan which is Jewish territory illegally reallocated by the British for a new Arab state of Jordan and the Jewish people received all of Palestine aka The Land of Israel in 1920 San Remo Conference which incorporated the Balfour Declaration as International Law.
    No where in any of the above stated agreements or any resolutions that provides for an Arab entity west of the Jordan River. It specifically states political right to the Jewish people. The U.N. resolutions are non-binding with no legal standing. The Oslo Accords is null and void.

    Did anyone imagine in the 1920’s what Europe would look like in the 1940’s? The Arab countries forcefully expelled over a million Jewish families and confiscated all their assets including personal assets, businesses, homes and over 120,000 Sq. Km. of Jewish owned Real estate for over 2,600 years, valued in the trillions of dollars; and most of the expelled Jewish families were resettled in Greater Israel.
    We dare not wallow in complacency, in a misguided tolerance and naive sense of security. We must not be lulled into inaction for fear of offending the offenders. Radical Islam is the curse of the world and this must be cried out from every house of worship. ISIS MUST BE DESTROYED. Iran is our enemy and they are a destabilizing factor in the Middle East which ignite a third World War. They are the new 21st century Nazis.
    These murderers, these barbarians are radical Islamists.
    This is an all out war. Show no mercy on them. They must be utterly destroyed with no remnants. They want to murder Jews and we must destroy them first.
    WHY ARE PEOPLE AFRAID TO STATE THIS? MOST OF THE WORLD HATES US JEWS for no reason. We should stop appeasing the world and protect ourselves and Israel. (“If I am not for myself, who is”) Yes we have a few countries such as the U.S.A. to turn to and we have some friends from different religions, yet another holocaust is coming if we Jews remain silent and a third Intifada has begun., never again, never forget, never forgive. I am a son of holocaust survivors. The nation of Israel and its people have survived for thousands of years and will continue to survive.
    Have Israeli Arabs ever tried to integrate into Israeli society as have the Druze? (very few) Or is it the opposite? Except when it comes to medical care and welfare, do they even see themselves as Israeli Arabs or do they see themselves as Arab-Palestinians residing within Israel? Yes, there are exceptions among the educated; fine doctors, lawyers, etc., but they are the exception. Muslims mission is to occupy other countries and than enforce their Sharia laws and their customs on the population at large and take over the hosting country.
    Israeli Arabs could have in the past, and now still could find the same acceptance and appreciation that the Druze has found. Why haven’t they? I think the answer is painfully clear. Their goal is that they want to destroy Israel and the Jews and they, the Arab-Palestinians declare unashamedly those intentions to the world at large and their Charter states those parameters with no ambiguity.
    “In Israel; We have to undue and reverse all the concessions that the decades of this nonsense had created and that the illusionary peace industry has fermented, which led us to the position where the world thinks we the Jews are occupiers in our own ancestral land. We have to reverse all our concessions to the Arabs who deceived us by falsely saying they want peace with Israel. It was only a means to deceive Israel and gain territory which they could not gain in wars; in order to take over Israel one piece at the time.
    If something is false and it is repeated enough times it becomes sort of common wisdom.
    We have to undo that.”
    “A United Israel is a strong Israel”
    YJ Draiman
    P.S. Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen is proud of his role in the Munich Massacre of Israeli Athletes.