Netanyahu is proud of being anti-peace
IN an unfortunate development, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told French Foreign Minister on Sunday that the Jewish state remained opposed to a French initiative for an international conference to try to revive peace talks. Palestinians have welcomed the proposal but Israel is opposed to the idea on the pretext that the moot, which France seeks to hold in the autumn, would try to dictate terms for a peace deal.
France is rightly describing its peace move as a first step towards defusing the ‘powder-keg’ threatening to explode in the Middle-East with Israel persisting with its repressive and expansionist policies. The initiative offered a ray of hope for revival of peace efforts which have been moribund since April 2014 when American-sponsored talks collapsed mainly due to intransigent attitude of Tel Aviv. Israeli rejection of the Paris move is not entirely un-understandable as the Jewish state has been opposing international involvement in peace efforts as that could mean justice for Palestinians and accountability of Tel Aviv for its atrocities against people of Palestine. Israeli is no doubt challenging the international community, its adherence to two-state solution and hundreds of UN resolutions that call for a just settlement of the longstanding dispute. Israel, like India, claims to be willing for direct bilateral talks with Palestinians but its track record shows it never demonstrated seriousness for meaningful talks and instead persisted with actions and policies that pushed the two sides further away from engagement, like frequent bombing of Palestinians, their economic blockade and expansion of Jewish settlements in occupied Arab land. Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian National Initiative, rightly believes Israel’s decision proved that “an alternative national strategy that focused on popular resistance and the boycott movement” was essential, in addition to reconciling feuding parties Hamas and Fatah. The outright rejection of French plan by Netanyahu is a clear cut manifestation of the fact that Israel is genetically opposed to peace and therefore, there was no hope for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The world will have to adopt a formidable stand telling Israel that nothing is acceptable until and unless Palestinians are treated as a sovereign entity and the two-state solution is attained, as per the 1967 borders.