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Israel adheres to its position that the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is direct, bilateral negotiations. Israel is ready to begin them immediately without preconditions. Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations.” (28 April 2016)

My Comment

This restatement of the Israel’s position is absolutely necessary.

But the occasion of the French Initiative also presents an opportunity to focus attention on issues that Israel needs the international public to understand. Additionally, it provides a marvelous opportunity to direct a call-for-action to states attending the Initiative to address the roots of the conflict and pursue the following measures as the only basis for a successful win-win solution.

Call for action 1 – the international community to reverse the following:

  1. the refusal of the Palestinians (and the wider Arab world) to accept Israel as the nation-state of Jews;
  2. the rejection by the Palestinians of 2-states for 2-peoples as an end to the conflict;
  3. their refusal to accept the legitimacy of Jewish legal and historic links to the region or Jewish national rights.

Call for action 2 – the international community to secure the following:

  1. that the Palestinians (and the wider Arab world) abandon the claim of a fictitious right of return to Israel for millions of fictitious refugees;
  2. that the PA/PLO/Fatah should formally and legally abandon all forms of their Charter calling for the elimination of the Zionist entity;
  3. that Hamas should reject its Charter calling for the destruction of Israel;
  4. that the Arab League abandon the call to eliminate Zionism in the Arab Charter for Human Rights.

Call for action 3 – questions for the international community to answer

In support of these core measures, the following questions could be posed to those states attending the French event:

  • how can a successful 2-state solution be achieved without the above steps?
  • what are they doing to ensure the implementation of these steps?

By questioning states that insist on the fairness and justice of Palestinian national rights, this approach draws attention to the lack of fairness and justice in the Palestinian denial of the same national rights of self-determination for Jews that they demand for themselves. That is, it skewers Palestinian/Arab positions as the driving force of the conflict and chief obstacle to its resolution. It thus directs blame for failure to where it belongs – instead of onto Israel.

In short, by a focus on rights rather than concessions, it ends the perpetual silence in international public discourse on core Palestinian/Arab positions that kill stone dead any possibility of a win-win solution to the conflict. At the same time, it points to the only way forward if such a solution is to be realized. Finally, it restates Israel’s positon in a way that helps its friends with arguments that would benefit Israel by becoming common knowledge.

All these matters could be raised directly with the attendant states via their respective Foreign Ministries and their Embassies in Israel. Further, these points could form the basis of interviews given by Israeli spokespersons on foreign TV stations and for articles placed in the foreign press. Likewise, they could be circulated to all foreign media representatives here in Israel.

Jon Dyson

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