France-Israel not lovers/not friends?

star-France-Israel-150If we can’t have France as a lover, can we at least have a genuine friend?

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the decision to vote in favour of a UNESCO report that ignores any Jewish link to Jerusalem was a ‘mistake’. French President Francois Hollande says it was a ‘misunderstanding’ and promises France ‘will not support any similar resolutions in the future’. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says ‘it should not have been adopted’.

Then, France votes at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) for a resolution that singles out Israel for censure, and no other country, for creating supposed health violations.

“They have no shame,”

said Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu referring to UNESCO.

“With this kind of vote they want us to come to a peace conference in Paris and believe that it will be fair, logical and objective?”

Actually the PM was wrong. The ministerial-level talks will host the US, Russia, the EU and the UN, as well as the Arab League, the UN Security Council and about 20 countries, without Israeli or Palestinian participation. Guilt will be determined in absentia.

Some questions no one seems to be asking

Does anyone have any doubt this conference is designed to force an independent Palestinian state on Israel against the wishes of its elected government and its people and ease the way for sanctions (or worse) if it doesn’t cooperate? We can only hope that like Climate Control Conferences the results will have plenty of virtue signalling but no real teeth.

If I had the chance I would ask the French some questions starting with,

What is the responsibility of the French when the Palestinian State collapses?

The collapse could be military when Hamas battle Fatah for control as they did after Israel left Gaza.

Or it might be economic. Palestine exists on charity, much of which is siphoned away by corruption, now has to stand on its own feet and discovers it really has no economic basis.

France does intend to stop financing the Palestinians at some point, doesn’t it?

Or it might simply be that the state turns into yet another recently independent, failed state with proclaimed good intentions but without the institutions to support it. The Palestinian State tomorrow could end up looking like the Palestinian State of today. Not that the ‘human rights community would necessarily notice/

What is the responsibility of the French when rockets start targeting 80% of Israel’s population?

Hamas-Fired Rockets Hits House in Beersheba. credit: Israel Defence Forces

During the last Gaza war one rocket landed one kilometre from Ben Gurion airport and international companies stopped flights. The new state puts shipping ports, international and domestic airports, military bases, industry, power station, highways as well of most of Israel’s population within the range of so called crude weapons let alone the sophisticated ones the Palestinians would import.

The attacks don’t even have to come directly from the Palestinian administration although as we have seen with the knife intifada they are quite capable of inciting violence and then piously pretending it was individual decisions to kill.

  • Hamas has an interest: Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory, quoted in the Hamas Covenant).
  • Fatah has an interest: Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated. (Article 19 Fateh Constitution methods).
  • The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (P.F.L.P.)has an interest: There is no truce with the Zionist enemy until the liberation of Palestine; we will not barter our weapons for humanitarian needs or our basic rights; we strongly uphold and adhere to our right to defend ourselves, to armed struggle, and to continue to fight until the occupier leaves our land and the blockade is lifted and we have achieved the rest of our human needs and rights. We are in the resistance! (Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the P.F.L.P. statement 10 July 2015)

In addition and not less important is the likelihood of independent attacks by members of the Palestine security forces, some armed and trained by America.

What is the ethical and moral authority of the French to lecture anyone?

French troops in Vietnam c.1955. credit: Author unknown.

Did you know that the French military engaged in three active conflicts since the last half of 2015? The ongoing operations against Jihadist forces in northern Mali, a military intervention in the chaotic Central African Republic, and the multi-national conflict against the Islamic State in the Middle East (Syria and Iraq).

Did you know that since the end of World War II the French have been involved in thirty-two military conflicts? (HT The History Guy for both factoids).

Did you know that the  the FLN (Algerian National Liberation Front) estimated in 1964 that nearly eight years of war with France effected 1.5 million deaths from war-related causes? Granted that may be an exaggeration but even if you take the French official estimate of 350,000 that is still five times more than the casualties of all Israel’s wars for the last sixty-eight years.

Scorched car in Paris suburb November 2005. credit: Alain Bachellier (Flickr)

Perhaps the answer is the example France has shown of dealing with home-grown Arabs? In 2005 violent riots resulted in 201 police injured and 10,000 cars destroyed.
Several people were killed during the riots, including a 56 year old disabled woman. Many
public buildings were burnt down, and many businesses were vandalized as well. In all, the
damage exceeded 200 million euros.

In 2016, on New Years Eve Arab youth (that may be redundant. The word ‘youth’ when combined with the word ‘riot’ almost inevitably refers to those of Arab ethnicity) torched over 800 cars. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve actually described that as a 14.5 per cent improvement over the year before.

Is France a good example?

France holds 701,929 square kilometres† of territory outside outside French mailand, compared to Israel’s  22,072 km2 including the Golan and East Jerusalem. Yet it insists on Israel ceding territory while refusing to do so with its own.

Many of France’s numerous wars have been to violently prevent French colonial territories gaining independence.  None of them were in simple artillery range of European France nor effected France’s water supplies nor provided a barrier to invasion.

French CRS special police confronting Kanak activists demanding independence in New Caledonia. credit: David Robie.

Perhaps France might show Israel a good example by ceding French Guiana, French Polynesia,  Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna. We can add to this list Corsica in the Mediterranean. In addition, although generally uninhabited, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, much of which is also claimed by other much closer states.

Defenders of France may argue that these territories have varying legal status and different levels of autonomy, although all (except those with no permanent inhabitants) have representation in the Parliament of France, and consequently the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament.

Could you imagine the French outcry if Israel followed their example and simply annexed Palestine?

First published at Five Minutes for Israel
David Guy.  B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI

 

 

 

 

 

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