This is a couple of days old, but it illustrates something important:
France fears that Israel no longer desires a Middle East peace deal, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Tuesday, adding that Paris remained deeply opposed to settlement building in the West Bank…
Speaking on France Inter radio, Kouchner made clear he was not expecting any swift break through in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
“What really hurts me, and this shocks us, is that before there used to be a great peace movement in Israel. There was a left that made itself heard and a real desire for peace,” Kouchner said.
“It seems to me, and I hope that I am completely wrong, that this desire has completely vanished, as though people no longer believe in it,” he added. — Ha’aretz
I can only understand this in one of two ways: either Kouchner and his boss are really, truly idiots who are incapable of perceiving the simple facts of the conflict and recent events; or, they are deliberately presenting a completely false view in order to make political points with foreign and domestic anti-Zionists.
The remark is infuriating, particularly the statement that Israelis in general don’t want peace, and the implication that only the Left is capable of it. The lack of peace is war — does he think Israelis want more war, after 61 years of it? Look at the behavior of Hamas and Hezbollah and ask who wants war!
The “desire has completely vanished”, he says. Something has vanished, but it’s not the desire for peace or even the Left, which is still around. What “people no longer believe in” is the idea that peace will come from giving up land and security to the Palestinians.
This was tested — how it was tested! — by the Oslo accord, which took on faith the idea that the PLO, too, was interested in a peaceful two-state solution. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians are dead now, because this false proposition was embraced — with some pushing from a naive US President — by Israel.
It was tested further by the withdrawal from Gaza, which brought even more war. Has Kouchner been asleep since 1993? How else can we understand his shock that Israelis no longer think that there is a Palestinian leadership that will return concessions with peace?
Why, after all this, is he surprised and hurt that Israelis are tired of taking risks, when the payback for it since 1993 has been suicide bombings and Qassam rockets? Kouchner should be glad that Israel’s present government is prepared to say more than “to hell with you” to the Palestinians.
One wants to ask what world he lives in.
Of course, the answer is “one in which 30% of the population of France is Muslim”. And one in which the following is true:
Saudi Arabia is our third-leading oil supplier, after Norway and Russia. In 2004, our exports reached €1.3 billion and our imports stood at €3.1 billion. Our sales are based on intermediate goods, consumer goods and capital goods. With market share moving between 4 and 5%, France is the Kingdom’s eighth-largest supplier. Saudi Arabia is our fourth-biggest customer in the region, after Turkey, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. — France-Diplomatie