B’nai B’rith International denounces the ill-conceived Middle East peace summit that concluded Sunday in Paris. Some 70 countries gathered to impose preconditions on the Jewish state while ignoring Palestinian incitement and the long-standing refusal to negotiate directly with Israel. Israel did not attend the gathering.
This conference came after a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution censuring Israeli settlement construction passed with 14 votes and Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech disproportionately blaming Israel for the impasse with the Palestinians. Indeed, the Paris summit may yet paved the way for another one-sided UNSC resolution that will only cause further damage.
Like the UNSC censure and the Kerry speech, the Paris summit also essentially prejudges the outcome of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said of the conference that it “is so detached from reality that it has extended a hand towards Palestinian obstructionism instead of towards peace.”
The United Kingdom blocked European Union foreign ministers from endorsing the conference’s final declaration. Neither Britain nor Australia signed the closing statement.
We commend Britain and Australia for refusing to sign the summit document. The international community has continuously enabled Palestinian rejectionism by introducing measures that unfairly target Israel and reduce the Palestinians’ incentive to negotiate for peace. B’nai B’rith reiterates that peace can be achieved only through direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.