Perhaps the most lauded clause pertaining to France’s proposal of launching an international conference with the aim of reviving diplomatic negotiations between Palestine and Israel was the purported automatic recognition of a Palestinian state should the initiative fail. Yesterday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault clarified his country’s hypocrisy, dispelling the previous assertion made by former Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
During a press conference in Cairo, Ayrault stated: “There is never anything automatic. France will present its initiative to its partners. It will be the first step, there is no pre-requisite.” He hastened to add: “What we want, and that is our commitment, is to resume the negotiation process.”
Ayrault spoke of “mobilising the international community” in favour of the two-state paradigm ahead of the proposed conference which France is hoping to schedule for summer. The decision to refrain from recognising a Palestinian state, according to Ayrault, is imperative in order to avoid alienation of countries such as Germany, which has regularly expressed its support for Israel and has also expressed reservations regarding the previous declaration by Fabius.
While temporarily, Fabius might have projected some appeal, France has consistently acted through duplicity – professing both Zionist and Palestinian support while evading proper criticism of such action largely due to its alleged assistance to the Palestinian Authority and its incessant drafting of futile UN Security Council resolution. Ayrault has unmasked the previous ambiguity, exposing France as a country whose loyalties lie within the spectrum of colonial endeavours.
Diplomatic jargon can also be classified as rhetoric of convenience. Mobilising the international community in favour of a two-state compromise in which a Palestinian state on fragmented territory exists as an alleged equal with a colonial entity. It is clear that Palestine’s disappearance has unfortunately become a priority – one that is not easily recognised due to the tactics involved which include oblivion through endless negotiation processes where Palestine is depleted of both land and people. France has eagerly supported such scheming and the PA has regularly applauded these efforts as it continues to hover within a restricted space that only allows the entity to violate, not protect, Palestinian rights. In addition, the international community has proved itself to be partial to such perverse manipulation and indeed, despite occasional bouts of admitting the two-state concept is unsustainable, no other alternative option has been thoroughly discussed, let alone international support for Palestinian anti-colonial struggle.
Making the distinction between international consensus regarding the two-state concept and internationalist support becomes even more crucial. It is predictable that the international community and the official organisations adhere to their corruption by promoting colonial agendas. However, internationalist support for Palestine, which can provide the beginning of an alternative for Palestinians, should veer away from the impositions of a two-state conspiracy and avoid one of the major pitfalls of activism – that of overt alignment with what is dictated by leaders whose aim is to assist Israel in completing its expansion. While France proceeds with its efforts to host an international conglomeration of putrid, redundant recapitulations, activist entities professing Palestinian support would do well to distance themselves from the shackles of two-state discourse and purported equality, which is a severe affront to Palestinian history and memory.
On 23 November 2019, EuroPal Forum and Middle East Monitor co-hosted a conference at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury in London on the relations between Europe and Palestine. A first of its kind, the conference brought together individuals at the forefront of discourse on Palestine in
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