WJC President Lauder: Paris summit ‘meaningless and misguided’, ignores reality on the ground
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Sunday decried the Paris peace summit, a gathering of top-level officials from more than 70 countries aimed at jump-starting Israeli-Palestinian talks, as “meaningless and misguided”.
Lauder added: “If the international community wishes to see a productive peace process put in place, it must cease its repeated one-sided demands on Israel and recognise the reality on the ground.”
Lauder said: “One must ask, what did France, and the more than 70 foreign officials it hosted today, really hope to achieve from such a summit? Both Israelis and Palestinians have heard the countless international demands to return to the negotiating table and both the Israelis and the Palestinians are fully aware that a two-state solution is the only viable option for a lasting peace. Israel has repeatedly expressed its willingness to return to the negotiating table, without preconditions; it is waiting for the Palestinians to agree to the same.
“To effectively assist in propelling the peace process, the international community must refrain from singling out Israel; it must urge the Palestinians to drop their preconditions and return to the negotiating table.
“Peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only come through direct bilateral negotiations, without preconditions, and with the full consent of both sides. Any attempt to intervene in or impose such a framework, without the explicit agreement or participation of the two sides, is counterproductive. International peace summits such as these, with neither Israelis nor Palestinians in attendance, can result only in further derailing this critical negotiations process.
“Despite whatever good intentions France may have had in convening this meeting, the Paris peace summit must be recognized for what it is: a meaningless and misguided gathering of declarations that will have no practical results on the ground, and a critical misunderstanding of the essential process required for reaching a two-state solution.
“France has tried to position itself as a mediator in this peace process. But it has also supported – along with so many other participants at this summit – numerous anti-Israel decisions in the United Nations, including those which seek to impose external and unreasonable demands on Israel, such as most recently, UNSC Resolution 2334.
“In practice, this summit resembled the slew of anti-Israel forums we have seen of late in the United Nations: contradictory iterations of commitment to Israeli-Palestinian peace, which places the full onus and responsibility on Israel,” Lauder concluded.