Around 70 nations will gather at an international summit in Paris this Sunday in what is expected to be a hugely significant event for Israel and could lead to more anti-Israel actions at the UN.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has become the latest official to announce that he will be attending.
The Paris Peace Conference is expected to adopt a number of guidelines focusing on implementation of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinian Authority. The guidelines will also include disavowing elected officials who oppose a two-state solution.
Israeli news agency, Haaretz, exclusively obtained a copy of a draft of the summary statement that will be released following the conference on Sunday.
“The participants…call on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final-status negotiations, in order to rebuild trust and create a path back to meaningful direct negotiations,” read the draft text obtained by Haaretz.
Such “policies and actions” will include assurances on the part of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to “restate their commitment to the two-state solution and to disavow official voices on their side that reject this solution.”
Such an adoption would mark a watershed moment in the Israel-Palestinian conflict and completely undermine Israel’s right to determine its own future and possibly hamper future peace negotiations. The suggestion that Israel must not elect politicians that do not support this directive is intrusive, undemocratic and divisive. It is also hugely hypocritical by the international community considering Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas has this week marked 12 years of his four-year term.
Whilst the Middle East is in turmoil, nations from around the world will turn its attention to the only democracy in the region. As with the UN resolution 2334, these guidelines would present biased requirements upon Israel and would require no commitment from the Palestinian leadership.
Furthermore, the Paris Peace Conference place no pressure on the Palestinians to condemn terror attacks, or to refrain from rewarding terrorists.
Neither Israel nor the Palestinian leadership will attend the talks, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned the meeting could lead to another UN resolution. Such a resolution could be put before the UN as soon as next week.
Netanyahu called the conference “futile” earlier this month and on separate occasions has charged that such a conference would only push the prospects of peace farther away, calling instead for direct negotiations between the two sides.
The key points of the draft are as follows:
-It makes a clear commitment to “two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security”.
-It insists that there must be an end to “the occupation that began in 1967″.
-It calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renew their commitment to a two state solution.
-It also calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publicly renounce any of their officials that do not support a two state solution.
-It states that the 70 nations gathered in Paris only recognise the 4th June, 1967 borders, and that the only future changes to those borders they will recognise will come as the result of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. And just like UN Security Council Resolution 2334, Jerusalem is specifically mentioned.
-The summary statement calls on all countries to clearly distinguish between the State of Israel and territories that would belong to the Palestinians based upon the 1967 borders in all of their dealings.
– It includes a nod to last month’s speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, “in which he stressed that no solution could be imposed and outlined his vision of principles for a final status agreement.”
– It says the conference participants “welcomed the adoption” of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on December 23, “which clearly condemned settlement activity, incitement and violence, and called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground.”
Haaretz reports that last Friday, there was a meeting of senior diplomats from the dozens of Western and Arab countries that will attend the conference. The French delegate, Pierre Vimont, presented them with the first draft of the conference’s summary communiqué and asked for comments.
It says that according to Western diplomats, Vimont said France wants to reach a consensus among the participating states on a balanced statement that would stress the centrality of the two-state solution to the international community, but would take this month’s transfer of presidential power in the United States into account.
After receiving comments, the French drew up a new draft. Western diplomats noted that there will be two more rounds of consultations on the statement’s wording before the conference, as well as discussions among the foreign ministers at the conference itself, but they did not anticipate any dramatic changes in the text.