The Middle East peace process cannot wait, for two main reasons.Ayrault engages in sleight-of-hand here. No one is saying that one can ignore the Israel-Arab conflict forever, only that its solution would have little real impact on regional stability. What he is really saying is "we are impotent but we can always pressure Israel to feel like we are doing something, and we can justify it with straw man arguments."
First and foremost, the situation is urgent. Many crises throughout the region, from Syria to Libya, from Yemen to Iraq, have generated new threats to its stability. Some say that because of these crises, priorities need to be established, and in the name of these supposed priorities, resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be put off until later.
This is not what I believe: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be considered separately from its regional environment. Thinking that the Middle East could restore its stability without settling its oldest conflict is unrealistic. This conflict, if not dealt with, will continue to fuel frustration and will ultimately only worsen the vicious cycle of radicalization and violence. It will continue to give budding terrorists excuses for enlisting. The heinous attack in Jerusalem last Sunday is an additional warning sign.
The proof that this is not Israel's fault is clear. The Palestinians rejected the only realistic peace process in the region, the Oslo process, and actively chose war instead in 2000. Yet the world community did nothing to pressure the PLO for that decision.
Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Sinai have absolutely nothing to do with Israel, and Ayrault knows this. There will never be stability in the Middle East as long as supremacist versions of Islam and dictators who care little about their people exist. To lay the blame at Israel (which is what Ayrault is doing despite claiming to be evenhanded) is the political equivalent to the Chelm story of the man looking for his lost keys in the well-lit town square instead of the muddy forest where he lost them.
I have a very strong conviction, and it is one I share with most of our partners and with most Israelis and Palestinians. This conviction is that only a two-state solution will, in time, bring stability to the region and enable Israel to live in security.
This does not mean imposing peace. France has never claimed to outline a solution for anyone. We are extremely aware that the conflict will not be settled until parties have decided to set out down the courageous and demanding path of reconciliation.Haaretz proved this to be a lie with the publication of the draft resolution to be published at the end of the conference, a document that explicitly says that Israel has no rights over any territory beyond the 1949 armistice line.
Palestinians are seeing their future state shrinking, as settlement expansion continues at an unprecedented speed.
I've shown how this is false before from the perspective of actual area taken up by Jewish communities. Anti-Israel activists keep putting out maps that falsely give the impression of huge growth by either making the actual communities look much larger than they really are (by using large dots) or by sizing the dots by population size to make it look like the Jewish communities' size, still around 2% of the West Bank, takes up so much more. See, for example, this Peace Now map:
But let's talk about population growth, since everyone uses those numbers for their evidence of "unprecedented" growth.
Any demographer would tell you that populations grow exponentially. A 4% growth rate for 100,000 people would be 4000 people, for 300,000 it would be 12,000, so the chart would show a curve, not a line, if the growth rate was steady. This chart is a straight line growth, meaning that roughly the same increase in real numbers year over year - which means that the rate of growth is actually going down. This chart shows an average increase of about 10,000 people a year both when there were 100,000 people and when there were 300,000 people.
Moreover, Haaretz showed last year that practically all the real growth was in Haredi communities right on the Green Line that would be part of Israel in any peace plan, and that is the case with most of the growth.
Anti-Israel activists play with the numbers to give a sense of urgency to politicians like Ayrault who are more than happy to use this false data to spout lies.
Note that while Haaretz published this apologia for pressuring Israel, all the proofs that I use to show that the assumptions are false come from Haaretz as well. The Left knows the truth but chooses to hide it when it is convenient for them, and pressuring Israel to make concessions that would jeopardize its security is very convenient for many people who feel that something must be done, and Arabs cannot be expected to fold under pressure the way Jews can.