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The orphans of the French Initiative
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
December 1, 2016

After the confession of Holland about the regression of the possibilities of holding the Paris conference, we only have to offer our condolences to the orphans of the French initiative.

The warning came this time from President Hollande personally, when he expressed about his appreciation that the possibilities for holding the Paris conference have declined so much [we stress: convening, not success, as there is no success without the convention]. The reason in the opinion of Holland, is Netanyahu's decision to boycott the conference, and the indifferent position of the United States, especially since it takes place at a moment of American transition, thus, the conference could be improper to the United States.

Noting that the preparatory meeting, at the level of foreign ministers, which was called for by Paris, was postponed according to the «agenda» of John Kerry, the foreign minister of Washington. This confirms that the American component, in this matter, constitutes for France, a decisive factor.

The absence of the Israeli side, writes off (minimum) 50% of the usefulness of the conference, especially as the core of its function is to invite both parties (the Palestinians and Israelis) to resume the bilateral negotiations.

The hesitation, then the absence of the United States, would also write off the rest of the importance of the conference. So the French delegation is visiting Washington to discuss the fate of the conference, before Paris gets involved in an invitation to a meeting, has the aspect of an international conference, that does not produce anything new, and adds to the existing failure, a new failure, especially in a sensitive political French period, in which France prepares to choose a president, so we do not believe that Hollande is ready to risk his reputation, and the political reputation of his country , in the preparing for a failed conference.

However, some voices in Ramallah - who subsist on the political hypocrisy, and the distribution of lies as facts, and forging shocking facts to the public opinion, do not stop confirming that the procedures of the preparations for the conference ,proceedings are going on, and that the invitations will be distributed the middle of the next month.

The idea of the conference was born at a critical political moment. As the nine months negotiations, which were sponsored by John Kerry ended with failure, and did not achieve anything.

The Palestinian negotiator returned empty-handed, while the Israeli negotiator returned with a few thousands of settlement units, between plans and projects, constructions and a political cover for an aggressive operation against the Gaza Strip.

The American diplomacy, which has not enough time in the administration , began to be busy with the explosive political files like : Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the European Union (in its relationship with the Russian Federation), and it began to practice ignoring policy to the Palestinian file, after it noticed that the balance of the existing powers does not allow to any possible change to be done in the status quo, and at a time when the American administration missed the minimum of political will to put pressure on Netanyahu to halt the settlements building.

The Palestinian side threatened to «give the keys back», and with the «reassignment» of the Israeli side. Also, it pledged (via statements no more) its commitment to the signed agreements with the Israeli one.

Under a state of political vacuum, came the French initiative, in order to:

Save the situation , fill the void left behind the US «mediator» , provide the Palestinian negotiating side with a way out of its predicament, and to liberate it from verbal shackles and obligations ,especially to save it from the entitlements of the implementation of the Central Council resolutions in March 2015, which would create a new reality, that opens the horizons to get rid of the Oslo Accords, and creates a new situation in the occupied territories, which could put an end to the all unsuccessful settlement projects , presented by the Americans and the Israelis.

Naturally, the Palestinian negotiator grabbed the French initiative, but the manner was surprising, as it paid its bills for the French side, even before it takes its first shape.

So, the Palestinian negotiator backed down from its (verbal) threats to stop working with the signed agreements, and most importantly of all, it deactivated the Central Council resolutions (March / 2015) and the decisions of the Executive Committee, in a bet on the French role for the resumption of the negotiations.

On The pretext of not disrupting the French move, the Palestinian negotiator froze its orientations toward the international forums to internationalize the Palestinian issue and national rights. So, it froze the move toward the Security Council to submit a draft resolution on the settlements, which, admittedly by the American and European sources, is threatening any future solution, including the solution named the «two-state solution».

And it froze the move toward the International Criminal Court, to raise complaints against war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel against the Palestinian people: the settlements, the prisoners, the killing , the detention of the bodies of the martyrs, the blockade of Gaza, the so-called bloody campaign «the steadfast shelf », and other crimes, that many international forums acknowledged that according to the international standards , they can be described as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Palestinian Authority made an opposite turn , and worked through it to encircle , besiege and abort the uprising of the youth by provocative procedures, and made statements to the European and world public opinion, tried through which to affirm its dedication to the principle of the security cooperation with the occupation authorities, either by the words of the president of PA (who considers the security cooperation as sacred) or on the words of the intelligence chief Majid Faraj, who boasted that his forces «thwarted hundreds of operations against the occupation forces».

Besides all this, the committees of boycotting the Israeli economy were exposed to pressure to paralyze their work, under an Israeli pressures on the PA. In short, the PA has done everything required to devote the status quo in which its president described it as: «an occupation without cost», but this time with a repressive authority that its security services practice violation and oppression against the Palestinian citizens and against the political activists in the national action factions.

This form, expensive pre-payments, in return to the promises of the holding of the Paris conference, for an unusual task, that its only goal is to invite the two parties to resume negotiations. As if the negotiations (and not the salvation of the occupation and settlement) have become the target.

We have long warned of the risk of the illusion based on the French initiative. Also, we have long warned of the danger of making free concessions, for an initiative that does not have the minimum constituents for success, even if it the Paris conference, it will not offer a new formula for negotiations, which the Israeli side insists to be bilateral and outside any mediation or foreign intervention, that could form pressures on the Israeli side in favor of the Palestinians.

We have long warned that the failed Oslo process came to its dead-end, and that the attempts to supply it with oxygen is nothing but an illusion.
Let us return to the unified national program.

Now Hollande himself is not expecting to convene the conference after the regression of its convention and success possibilities.

So we only have to express our warm condolences to the orphans of the French initiative.

Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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