Global leaders are coming into agreement with a French proposal to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The proposal is based on the adoption of a 10-point initiative, authored by Saudi Arabia in 2002, which calls “for an Israeli withdrawal from all of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, as well as the Golan Heights. It also calls for a “just” solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees.” Lines are being drawn, sides taken and increasingly Israel stands alone.
“The initiative is necessary because if nothing happens, if there is no strong French initiative, then … attacks, terrorist attacks and several conflicts are going to continue.”
—French President Hollande
“Peace just does not get achieved through international conferences, UN-style…It does not get to fruition through international diktats or committees from countries around the world who are sitting and seeking to decide our fate and our security when they have no direct stake in it.”
—Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
“This effort utterly failed then and will completely fail today,” Dore Gold told journalists in Jerusalem, referring to the Sykes-Picot agreement to draw up the region’s borders. “The only way to get a stable regional arrangement that will allow us to create real peace in the Middle East is if the parties of the region come to understandings between them.”
—Dore Gold, director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry
Both Israelis and Palestinians “need to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a peaceful solution in order to rebuild mutual trust and create conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations aiming at ending the occupation that began in 1967, and resolving all permanent status issues.”
—Statement by 28 foreign ministers of the EU
“…the ideas suggested by France as an initiative impose a dangerous violation against agreed-upon national rights, especially the right of return.” They blamed the world for “increasing settlement building and providing a cover for the Judaization of Jerusalem.”
—Joint statement issued by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and two other terror groups
Give up east Jerusalem—“UNESCO, the organization charged by the UN to preserve the world’s heritage recently determined that the Temple Mount has no connection to the Jewish people. We have no connection with the Temple Mount. This claim is so absurd and so outrageous that I cannot get over it. Not only is it ridiculous, but this absurdity and this lie are making the rounds the world over—we have no connection with the Temple Mount.
“Of course, the truth is the complete opposite. We, the people of Israel, have a primal claim on Jerusalem. Our roots here are deeper than any other peoples, and the same is true about the Temple Mount. Jerusalem was ours and it will be ours.”
—PM Netanyahu addressing the Knesset on Jerusalem Day
Give up the Golan—“The Golan Heights have been an integral part of the Land of Israel since ancient times; the dozens of ancient synagogues in the area around us attest to this. The Golan Heights are an integral part of the State of Israel in the new era. During the 19 years that the Golan Heights were under Syrian occupation, when they were a place for bunkers, wire fences, mines and aggression, they were for war. In the 49 years that the Golan Heights have been under Israeli rule, they have been for agriculture, tourism, economic initiatives and building. They are for peace.
“The time has come for the international community to recognize reality, especially two basic facts. One, whatever is beyond the border, the boundary itself will not change. Two, after 50 years, the time has come for the international community to finally recognize that the Golan Heights will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.”
—PM Netanyahu addressing the Cabinet at a special meeting on the Golan Heights
Compromise its Security— However, the most important question was security, Netanyahu said. “One of the key questions will be who guarantees the security of the territories that Israel is ready to vacate?” Under every scenario in which Israel withdraws from parts of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], only the IDF will be able to guarantee Israel’s safety, the prime minister said. Israeli troops will have to stay in the West Bank “for an extended period of time.”
—PM Netanyahu speaking about the French peace proposal
“The Arab Peace Initiative does not need changing or adjusting, it is on the table as is,” al-Jubeir said, repeating that “the essence of the plan is Israel’s return to the ‘1967 lines’ and the establishment of east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.”
— Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaking in Paris
“But if they bring the proposal from 2002 and define it as ‘take it or leave it’—we’ll choose to leave it.”
—PM Netanyahu speaking to members of his Likud party
“The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me” (Lev. 25:23 emphasis added).
“And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zech. 12:3).
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