U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Paris peace conference will not lead to further action at the United Nations or other international bodies.
Kerry spoke by phone with Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon, according to reports. Kerry was one of more than 72 international leaders who attended Sunday’s peace conference in Paris. Late last month, Kerry delivered a lengthy speech in which he laid out six principles that the United States believes must govern the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while rebuking Israel’s “pernicious policy of settlement construction.” Kerry leaves office on Friday when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office.
The conference closed on Sunday with a final statement that called on Israel and the Palestinians to “officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution” and to not take unilateral actions that would jeopardise future peace talks.
Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu slammed the Paris peace conference during the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“The conference convening in Paris today is a useless conference. It is being coordinated between the French and the Palestinians. Its goal is to try and force terms on Israel that conflict with our national needs,” Netanyahu said. “Of course it pushes peace further away because it hardens the Palestinian positions and it also pushes them away from direct negotiations without preconditions. I must say that this conference is among the last twitches of yesterday’s world.”
“Tomorrow’s world will be different – and it is very near,” Netanyahu concluded, alluding to the Trump presidency.
Kerry briefed Netanyahu on efforts the Americans are making to soften the wording of the summit’s concluding statement, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported, citing an unnamed senior Israeli official.
Netanyahu reportedly told Kerry that Israel had already paid a diplomatic price for the U.S. decision not to veto last month’s U.N. Security Council resolution which slammed West Banks settlements, according to Haaretz. Netanyahu has criticised the current international peace process, saying only direct negotiations between the two parties will be effective. Neither Netanyahu nor Abbas traveled to Paris for the conference.
Over 1,000 pro-Israel supporters, most Jewish, protested against the peace meeting outside of the Israeli embassy in Paris on Sunday.
French President François Hollande said in opening the conference that: “The two-state solution is not the dream of a system of yesterday. It still remains the objective of the international community.”
He acknowledged, however: “It’s not a matter of dictating to the parties the terms of a deal… Only direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to peace; no one will do it in their place.”
In closing the conference on Sunday evening, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the recent anti-settlement resolution passed by the UN Security Council and John Kerry’s recent policy speech “represented the voice of the world.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.