Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 15 January 2017, 21:55 hrs, UTC, Post #85.
Accessed on 15 January 2017, 21:55 hrs, UTC.
Reporters: Angela Charlton and Matthew Lee (Associated Press).
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World diplomats meeting in Paris, France on Sunday, 15 January 2017, appealed to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and President-elect Donald Trump to restore peace in the Middle East and to resolve the continuing debate over Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Diplomats also urged the United States not to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to continue supporting the “two-state solution” for Palestine and Israel.
According to Associated Press correspondents Angela Charlton and Matthew Lee, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tried unsuccessfully to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to soften his demands on the Palestinian Authority.
“He rejected Israeli criticism of the conference, saying the concept of a two-state solution to the conflict is “threatened” and must be reinforced if it is ever to happen. The communique, he said, endorses that without imposing a resolution.
“Given where things are going and what is happening, that is particularly important,” he said.
He also warned that it’s too early to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem, as proposed by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. “This is not the right time,” he said. “We think it’s ill-advised.”
“Trump’s administration did not take part in the meeting and didn’t immediately comment on its final statement.
While Netanyahu has voiced support for a two-state solution, his critics, including Kerry, have said that continued settlement construction on occupied territories raises questions about his commitment to pursuing a peace deal.”
While the meeting of international diplomats in Paris was a grand gesture, the declaration at the end of the meeting will be for naught unless something is done to resolve the long-standing issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority wants Jerusalem to be the capital of its state and doesn’t want a U.S. presence in that city. Until these outstanding problems are solved, any peace talks about a lasting agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority won’t happen. Both sides are stubborn and unwilling to surrender a few points in the interest of peace. The battlefield may be the solution of last resort–something already happening in the Syrian Civil War. Peace will come when all sides in the conflict are so worn out and depleted that they can’t fight anymore. Humanity hasn’t learned much in the past 5,000 years.
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Hawaii Intelligence Digest