Time has come for decisions


Jewish European network for Israel & for peace

John Kerry’s and Mahmoud Abbas’s unexpected visit to Paris on February  19th, and the announced meeting of Benyamin Netanyahou and Barack Obama in the United States on March 3rd, give evidence of a speeding up of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. In case we doubt it, the tougher stance of the Israeli right and its recent rallying will back up this assumption: on February 13th, several thousands of Israelis have demonstrated so as to denounce the American Secretary of State’s diplomatic initiatives and to object to the pressure the international community exerts on Israel so as to prevent the extension of the settlements in the West Bank.

In the same way, Naftali Bennett’s and Moshe Yaalon’s recent statements show an increasing nervousness of the hard-line right wing and seem to confirm that these last few weeks, negotiations have gotten straight to the heart of the matter after having first zeroed in on procedural issues (see the report on the conference organized in Paris by JCall, with Denis Charbit and Mossi Raz: http://fr.jcall.eu/a-la-une/gros-plan-sur-linitiative-de-paix-americaine-menee-par-john-kerry).

To deal with this rallying of the right, the peace camp continues its work. It gets organized and starts “taking to the streets“. January 17th, the Peace NGO Forum has thus organized an action, “Crossroads for Peace“ to which JCall gave its support (http://fr.jcall.eu/a-la-une/jcall-soutient-le-camp-de-la-paix).   February 14th, “Processions for Peace“ have deployed fro  m The North and the South of the country and converged on Tel Aviv to march in its main arteries (http://fr.jcall.eu/actualites/articles/les-voitures-pour-la-paix ). Even though it was modest and poorly relayed through the media,  this rallying is encouraging after a long period during which the peace camp has been nearly invisible, not to say listless.

On the Palestinian side, Mahmoud Abbas’s recent statements are enlightening in both language and substance. They offer an opening as far as Jerusalem is concerned—and they broach even the question of refugees, which should be dealed with so as not to “induce an existential crisis for Israel“. Those who do not believe in this “moderation “ will be happy to bring forward other statements by Mahmoud Abbas (and even more recently, by Saeb Erekat, the main Palestinian negotiator). But the newest element of Mahmoud Abbas speech on February 16th is probably  its context. The President of the Palestinian Authority has made a point of addressing directly the Israeli youth, and in fact, some 300 Israeli students from various horizons had come to Ramallah, which is a rare occurrence (http://fr.timesofisrael.com/abbas-nous-ne-voulons-pas-diviser-jerusalem). This may be seen as a wish to convince the Israeli civil society so as to create the right climate for negotiations.

The completion of these negotiations is essential for Israel, for its future as a Jewish State (depending less on the recognition of Palestinians than on the policy conducted by Israel itself) and as a democratic State, as well as for its international image. And this is not a minor issue, as shown by the boycott progression the supporters of which confuse often, probably on purpose, the questions of the illegitimacy of the settlements and of the legitimacy of Israel.

We have a duty to support the ongoing process and the efforts of John Kerry. Depending on the development of the situation, we will see which initiatives need to be taken, in France and within an international framework—and we will continue to support the Israeli peace camp, as we have done before.

To be able to deal with this program, we need your financial support (do not forget to send us your contributions: http://fr.jcall.eu/adhesion) , and we ask you to relay informations on our action and our stances, to encourage your friends and relatives to read our Newsletter, to visit our website (Jcall.eu), to follow us on Facebook.

Last but not least, we invite you to attend our next meeting on Monday March 3rd, 2014:  «Frères musulmans et Hezbollah: où en est l’islam radical?» http://fr.jcall.eu/evenements/freres-musulmans-et-hezbollah-ou-en-est-lislam-radical,  with Michaël Prazan et Yves Mamou, at the Cercle Bernard Lazare (at 8.30 p.m. 10, rue Saint-Claude, Paris 3e, subway station : Saint-Sébastien-Froissart).


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