WJC President Lauder rejects France peace summit: There is no alternative to bilateral Israeli-Palestinian talks

NEW YORK - World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has called France’s plan to convene officials from more than 70 countries in Paris for talks on Middle East peace a “subversive attempt to impose a settlement on the Israelis and Palestinians without the explicit agreement or participation of both sides.”

“Peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only come through direct bilateral negotiations, without preconditions, with the full consent of both sides. Any attempt to intervene in or impose such a settlement, without the explicit agreement or participation of both sides, is subversive and counterproductive. It’s like forcing a marriage without the bride’s consent.

“Israel has already made its position clear: it opposes this summit and has offered on numerous occasions to sit face-to-face with the Palestinians. The Palestinians, on the other hand, continue to insist on preconditions and on unilateral moves at the United Nations and in other international organizations, and consistently block efforts to return to the negotiating table.

“Regardless of France’s intentions, this summit will amount to nothing more than an anti-Israel forum reiterating the same biased demands that we’ve witnessed countless times in the anti-Israel bodies of the United Nations, including just a few weeks ago in the Security Council.

“Israel has repeatedly expressed its willingness to negotiate with the Palestinians. It is the Palestinians who refuse. The most viable solution to this decades-conflict is one that involves two states for two nations, negotiated and reached directly by the two nations. There is no alternative to bilateral negotiations.”

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