by Ari Lieberman
With tacit approval from the Obama administration.
The French, with tacit U.S. backing, have once again decided to insert their brand of mischief into the Arab-Israeli dispute. In a final drive to internationalize the conflict, the French are working to undercut Israel by convening an international conference to set broad parameters for a future agreement and extract yet more land concessions from Israel. To cement this nefarious scheme, the formulated plan hatched in Paris would be forwarded to the United Nations Security Council where failed states like Egypt and Venezuela will have their say on the fate of Israel’s future.
In an effort to gain traction for convening an international conference, the French – who are deeply mired with their own domestic problems – have been engaged in a flurry in shuttle diplomacy. France's Middle East envoy, Pierre Vimont, visited Israel this week and met with two advisers to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem in an attempt to secure Israeli approval for the French initiative. He was politely but firmly rebuffed.
Netanyahu, who was busy hosting his Fijian counterpart, wisely refused to meet with Vimont. He adamantly opposes efforts to internationalize the peace process, where Israel remains at a distinct disadvantage. Moreover, such a conference enables the Palestinian Authority’s “President for Life,” Mahmoud Abbas, to circumvent direct talks with Israel.
Vimont is also scheduled to meet with Abbas in Ramallah where he will undoubtedly receive a receptive audience. The PA has cynically adopted a one-sided approach to resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute by attempting to establish statehood and recognition through unilateral means thereby circumventing its chief negotiating partner, Israel, and essentially conceding nothing in exchange for tangible political gains. The PA has met with some success in this endeavor chiefly through the efforts of its prime European advocate and enabler, France.
Recent examples of French betrayal and treachery include the following;
In 2011, France supported a Palestinian bid to gain membership into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Palestinians would later exploit their membership status to cajole the organization into Islamizing Jerusalem while severing the Jewish (and Christian) nexus with the holy city.
In 2012, France supported a U.N. General Assembly resolution that accorded the “State of Palestine” non-member observer state status in United Nations.
In 2014, France supported an Arab sponsored draft resolution at the UNSC that would have imposed a one year deadline on Israel to establish a Palestinian state. The motion was defeated when the pro-Arab bloc failed to secure the nine votes needed for adoption by the 15-member body.
In 2016, France joined the Muslim bloc at UNESCO in adopting an anti-Semitic resolution which engaged in conspiracy theories and claimed that Jews plant “fake graves” in Muslim cemeteries. The resolution also perversely and mendaciously referred to Jewish holy sites exclusively by their Muslim names and condemned Israel for various contrived transgressions.
With or without Israeli assent, the perfidious French will move forward with their nefarious scheme. But the French plan will hit a brick wall unless it receives U.S. backing. To that end, Vimont is set to travel to the U.S. next week to coordinate efforts with the Obama administration.
It has been a long-standing U.S. policy to oppose U.N. resolutions aimed at imposing dictates on America’s unwavering ally and the Mideast’s only democracy, Israel. Opposition to such anti-Israel actions at the U.N. remains near unanimous in Congress and both presidential candidates have also expressed their opposition to employing the U.N. as a tool of coercion against Israel. Nevertheless, there has been speculation that Obama is contemplating doing just that.
According a report featured in the Wall Street Journal, Obama is weighing several options for implementing anti-Israeli measures in his twilight weeks in office during the transitional period. By far the most deleterious option available to Obama would be to employ the UNSC to do his bidding. Such a scheme would necessarily involve the French, who would submit a draft anti-Israel resolution – first hammered out at an international conference – that would easily pass muster at the UNSC. Obama would then instruct Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain, thus allowing the resolution’s passage.
The threat by Obama to disregard the wishes of Congress by colluding with the French and involving the U.N. should be taken extremely seriously. The political harm inflicted on Israel by such a UNSC resolution would be immeasurable and would further complicate efforts to reach a satisfactory resolution to the conflict.
It should be readily apparent to the Obama administration and to the French government that the source of the region’s instability is not Israel but rather the Shia-Sunni schism, Islamic fundamentalism and the inherent undemocratic character of the Muslim Middle East. But whether driven by his petulant hatred of Israel’s prime minister or a deep-seeded anti-Israel animus, Obama appears unwilling to give recognition to this unwavering fact.
As for the French, they have long been a thorn in Israel’s side and have a lengthy and ignominious history of anti-Semitism, Nazi collaboration, betrayal and kowtowing to the world’s most despotic leaders. Their anti-Israel scheming is to be expected.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.
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