Paris Peace Summit – response to the Final Declaration

Paris=peace 2017

INTRODUCTION:  Sunday, January 15 2017 representatives from more than 70 Nations met in Paris, France for the Paris Peace Summit – one which neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were invited. In Israel, this conference was described as “a wedding with neither bride nor groom”. While the final declaration was considerably more restrained than the draft summary statement, there are serious issues with Paris Conference Declaration.  Some of the issues are a carry over from the previous post, but there are some new issues (highlighted in red).

The full text for the final Paris Conference Declaration appears below this article.

Paris Peace Summit – highlights from Final Conference Declaration

Here are some key highlights from that summary which affirmed and reiterated that;

  1. a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security is the only way to achieve enduring peace
  2. reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides
  3. a negotiated two-state solution should including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty
  4. a negotiated two-state solution should fully end the occupation that began in 1967
  5. resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions
  6. the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict
  7. adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016
  8. advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016
  9. advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution of 28 December 2016
  10. addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation
  11. for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law

Final Conference Declaration – a closer look

Re 1: a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security is the only way to achieve enduring peace

Israel wants to exist as a Jewish state and to live in peace.

The problem is that many Arab nations do not even recognize the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist and the Palestinian’s recognition of Israel is so tenuous, that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to reverse their recognition of Israel US President-elect Donald Trump moves America’s Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


Re 2: reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides

The problem is, the ‘legitimate aspirations’ of the Palestinians is not to live in peace with the Jews – but to live in peace without Jews.

Arabs of this region have demonstrated that they have never wanted to live in peace with the Jews. When  Trans Jordan (renamed Jordan) was created from 3/4 of the land under the British Mandate for Palestine, it was excluded from Jewish settlement. When the State of Israel was created from the remaining 1/4 of the land, the very next day the armies of all of the neighboring Arab states of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan and Egypt attacked the newly-created State of Israel, in an attempt to destroy it.

Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 in exchange for peace with the Palestinians, more than 11,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza and the “knife-intifada” and vehicle-rammings continue are regular occurrences in Israel.

In this case, the aspirations of one side is the eradication of the other.


Re 3: a negotiated two-state solution should including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty

The issue here is that the Palestinian’s “state” is to have as its capital the capital of Israel, Jerusalem.

The “land” of this Palestinian “state” is to include all of Judea and Samaria, on the “west bank” of the Jordan River – the heartland of the Jewish people for millennia.

The concept of a two-state solution is often proposed as a means to resolve the ongoing tensions between Israel and the ‘Palestinians’, however few people are aware that there have already been two “two-state solutions“.

The first two-state solution was when the Arab-Palestinian state of Transjordan (later renamed Jordan) allocated 75% of the land that was to be part of the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people to the Arabs, and excluded it from Jewish settlement – leaving only 25% for a Jewish homeland.  Jordan is Arab Palestine.

The second two-state solution was created under UN Resolution 181 in November 1947 – where the remaining 25% of the land of the former British Mandate for Palestine was partitioned into two states (again) — with 43% of the land remaining for the Jewish homeland being given to this second Arab state under the Partition Plan – which Israel accepted in exchange for peace with the Arabs, but the Arabs rejected.

Jordan is Arab-Palestine, created from 3/4 of the land under the British Mandate for Palestine.


Re 4: a negotiated two-state solution should fully end the occupation that began in 1967

There is no “Israeli occupation”.

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel re-took control of its own land (East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria on the “west bank” of the Jordan River) that Jordan had taken by force in 1948 after the creation of the state of Israel, later illegally annexing it in 1950.

Since 1967, the international community has referred to this land as “disputed territory” and Israelis as ‘occupiers’ and ‘settlers’ of their own land.

The only “occupation” that took place was from 1948 until 1967 when Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.


Re 5: resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions

This refers to the so-called “pre-1967 borders, however there is no such thing as “pre-1967 borders” — at least not in the way they think

The “Green Line” running through Judea and Samaria (on the west bank of the Jordan River) is the 1949 Armistice Line and the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan states that the Armistice Line “did not compromise any future territorial claims of the two parties” since it had been “dictated by exclusively by military considerations”.  The Armistice Line was never intended to be a border.

Furthermore, UN Security Council’s Resolution 242, which was passed 5 months after the Six-Day War stated that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders. 

UN Security Council’s Resolution 338, passed after the Yom Kippur war stated immediately after the ceasefire, the implementation of Security Council resolution 242 (1967) in all of its parts. This resolution stated that the 1949 Armistice line was not supposed to designate final Israeli borders. 

This part of the Final Declaration does not affirm what they think it does as both resolution state that the 1949 Armistice line does not designate final Israeli borders, so “pre-1967 borders” would be the ones that existed at the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.


Re 6: the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 stated that if Israel recognized a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on so-called 1967 lines (giving the “West Bank” to this state), territorial adjustments for the Golan Heights then all the Arab nations would sign peace accords with Israel and establish full diplomatic relations.

“If the Arab nations grasp the fact that they need to revise the Arab League proposal according to the changes Israel demands, then we can talk. But if they bring the proposal from 2002 and define it as ‘take it or leave it’ – we’ll choose to leave it.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, June 13, 2016


Re 7: adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016

UN Security Council’s Resolution #2334  of December 23, 2016 declared that the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple (the Kotel) and all of Jerusalem the capital of Israel, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world on the Mount of Olives, as well as all of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) is “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”. 

Re: Jerusalem being “occupied territory”:

The only time Jerusalem was “occupied territory” was from the end of the War of Independence in 1948 until 1967, when Jordan occupied it – after having seized it by force.

Jordan’s decision to join the Arab allegiance with Egypt and Syria to destroy Israel, despite a request from Israel that they do not, ended by Israel taking control of its own land that Jordan had occupied in 1948 and illegally annexed in 1950— specifically East Jerusalem and the land on the “west bank” of the Jordan River, Judea and Samaria — freeing it from illegal occupation by Jordan.

Re: The Temple Mount belonging to the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel:

Under the Temple Mount are the remains of two Jewish Temples;

Solomon’s Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later.

The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 349 BCE until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans. The Western Wall (the Kotel) is the remains of the wall of the Second Temple.

Throughout history, different people including the Arabs, Persians and Christians captured Jerusalem – just as Jordan did in 1967, but Jerusalem from its foundation is Jewish, as is the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since ~1000 BCE.

More information on the ancient and modern history of Jerusalem:   http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/27/jerusalem-modern-and-historic-capital-of-the-jewish-people/

 


Re 8: advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016

The so-called “Quartet countries”; United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations stated called for Israel turn over all areas of “Area C” in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank), including the majority of agricultural lands, natural resources and land reserves.

To understand the issues with regards to Jewish inhabitants in outpost towns in Judea and Samaria requires some knowledge of the modern history of region.  This article provides that brief history: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/12/13/judea-samaria-west-bank-jordan/


Re 9: advance the two-state solution on the recommendations of the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution of 28 December 2016

So much can be said about the infamous speech by US Secretary of State John Kerry on December 28 2016, including his famous line

“Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both”

Most of what Kerry called for in his speech was embodied in the draft summary for this conference, elaborate on in the previous post.


Re 10: addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation

The situation in Gaza is a result of a 10-year conflict between Hama, a terrorist organization and offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which seized power from Fatah in a coup in June 2007, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) which represents Fatah.

The PA pays for power supplied by Israel and Egypt and normally transfers it to Gaza, exempting it from most taxes but due to its own financial constraints, the PA is no longer offsetting all the tax, angering Hamas.

Residents in Gaza are currently receiving just 3-4 hours of electricity per day – shortages which are resulting from this ongoing feud between Hamas and the PA.


Re 11: for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law

Israel has been accused by the UN of not adhering to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 — a statute which outlines the obligations of an “occupying power” in times of war.

The Fourth Geneva Convention cannot be applied to Israel as it cannot be an “occupying power” in its own land — land it reclaimed from illegal annexation by Jordan.

The only “occupying power” in East Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria was Jordan, from the years 1948 – 1967.

Final thoughts…

While no new UN declaration will follow this conference, the reiteration and emphasis of the creation of a state of Palestine that has Jerusalem, the capital of Israel as its capital, remains.

The plan is to implement UN Security Council’s Resolution #2334  of December 23, 2016 which declared the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple (the Kotel) and all of Jerusalem, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world on the Mount of Olives, as well as all of Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) as “illegally occupied Palestinian territory”. 

If all of Judea and Samaria is turned over to this ‘Palestinian state’, Israel’s

While we can breathe an immediate collective sigh of relief, that relief is temporary.

The problem remains.

Such a “two-state solution” would be a political “final solution” — forcing Israel to turn over of our capital Jerusalem, access to the holiest site in Judaism, all the agricultural lands, natural resources and land reserves of Judea and Samaria in exchange for a promise of peace that we still have not experienced when we turned over Gaza in 2005.

When the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for a state includes the destruction of Israel, the answer is “no”.

 


MIDDLE EAST PEACE CONFERENCE JOINT DECLARATION

I) Following the Ministerial meeting held in Paris on 3 June 2016, the Participants met in Paris on 15 January 2017 to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They reaffirmed that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.

They emphasized the importance for the parties to restate their commitment to this solution, to take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground, including continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity, and to start meaningful direct negotiations.

They reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides, including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty, fully end the occupation that began in 1967, satisfy Israel’s security needs and resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions.

They underscored the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.

They welcomed international efforts to advance Middle East peace, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 which clearly condemned settlement activity, incitement and all acts of violence and terror, and called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground ; the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016; and the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution on 28 December 2016.

They noted the importance of addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation.

They emphasized the importance for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.

II) The Participants highlighted the potential for security, stability and prosperity for both parties that could result from a peace agreement. They expressed their readiness to exert necessary efforts toward the achievement of the two-state solution and to contribute substantially to arrangements for ensuring the sustainability of a negotiated peace agreement, in particular in the areas of political and economic incentives, the consolidation of Palestinian state capacities, and civil society dialogue.

Those could include, inter alia:

– a European special privileged partnership; other political and economic incentives and increased private sector involvement; support to further efforts by the parties to improve economic cooperation; continued financial support to the Palestinian authority in building the infrastructure for a viable Palestinian economy;

– supporting and strengthening Palestinian steps to exercise their responsibilities of statehood through consolidating their institutions and institutional capacities, including for service delivery;

– convening Israeli and Palestinian civil society fora, in order to enhance dialogue between the parties, rekindle the public debate and strengthen the role of civil society on both sides.

III) Looking ahead, the Participants:

– call upon both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution, thus disassociating themselves from voices that reject this solution;

– 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 negotiations on final status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognize;

– welcome the prospect of closer cooperation between the Quartet and Arab League members and other relevant actors to further the objectives of this Declaration.

As follow-up to the Conference, interested Participants, expressing their readiness to review progress, resolved to meet again before the end of the year in order to support both sides in advancing the two-state solution through negotiations.

France will inform the parties about the international community’s collective support and concrete contribution to the two-State solution contained in this joint declaration.