PM Netanyahu: conference is 'French sponsored Palestinian fraud'
Prime Minister Netanyahu blasts Paris peace talks, set to begin Sunday, as just another rigged anti-Israel conference, being pushed by 'relics of the past'; reiterating his belief that it will do nothing to advance peace prospects, PM assures that it will also ‘do nothing to obligate us.’
"It's a rigged conference, rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances. This pushes peace backwards," Netanyahu continued.
The prime minister then said that "(this conference) is 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 made these statements after a meeting with the Norwegian foreign minister.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a message to 70 embassies criticizing the conference. It read in part, "The Paris Conference is an idle exercise and an attempt to circumvent the route of direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions. This is a 'Palestinian conference' that is meeting the Palestinian desire to avoid direct negotiations and internationalize the conflict, and therefore Israel opposes the conference."
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said that talks to discuss the Middle East peace process in Paris on Sunday do not aim to replace bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israel is worried that whatever text is passed during the conference will be then put to a vote at the UN Security Council during a meeting set to be held on the Middle East on December 17, two days after the conference.
After the US stated that they will veto any anti-Israel resolution, it seems like the French will try and make a proposal which will be signed by all of the members of the UN Security Council.
Therefore, the various countries who are set to participate in the conference are hurriedly putting together their closing statements, and getting their recommendations ready.
The Americans are working to add a provision to the working document which was originally written by the French side, and to delete a statement saying that both side should "disown officials who do not believe in a two state solution."
Additionally, the US is trying to remove wording taken from UNSCR 2334 which termed Israeli construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as illegal, specifically the sentence stating "there will be no recognition of the changes made in the area since 1967, including in Jerusalem."
The US is also trying to scrap a clause which calls on the various countries to "differentiate between Israeli territory and occupied territory."
Meanwhile, over 1,200 Israelis—amongst them public figures and former diplomats—went to the French Embassy in Tel Aviv to give a letter calling on the peace conference to announce the declaration of a Palestinian state.
Amongst those in attendance were Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, Former Israeli Attorney General Michael Ben Ari, five former ambassadors, Israel Prize winners, academics, and others.
"We are sorry that we had to take this initiative," said the document given to the French Embassy. "The current Israeli government has decided not only to boycott the conference, but has also spewed unsubstantiated hate speech towards the French government. All we can do, as Israeli citizens who care deeply about the future of their nation, is to do that which private citizens are able to do in such a situation."