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France: Recognition of Israel as the Jewish state required
France's peace bombshell
Last Updated:3:35 AM, July 30, 2011
Posted:11:18 PM, July 29, 2011 NY Post editorial
It didn't get a lot of notice, but the gov ernment of French President Nicolas Sarkozy issued a statement last week that could have a profound effect on the prospects for Middle East negotiations.
Sarkozy's foreign minister, Alain Juppe, publicly stated: "There will be no solution to the conflict in the Middle East without recognition of two nation-states for two people," including "the nation-state of Israel for the Jewish people."
That's been a significant Israeli condition for years -- that the Palestinians must recognize Israel's existence as aJewishstate, thereby ending their claims on the entirety of Israel.
Just as significantly, that's something the Palestinians adamantly refuse to do.
Juppe's statement makes France the first European nation to state publicly that any agreement must recognize Israel's Jewish character.
That position has been opposed by Britain, Spain, Belgium and Ireland, among others -- as well as by the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
And there is discord within the so-called Quartet -- the US, the EU, the UN and Russia -- over this condition.
Yet as Evelyn Gordon writes on Commentary's blog, Sarkozy has "finally grasped that no agreement is possible without satisfying Israel's minimum requirements" -- which means demanding a concession from the Palestinians.
Clearly, the continued failure to recognize Israel's Jewish character -- the basis of its creation -- is an open invitation to the dismantlement of Israel and its incorporation into an Arab state of Palestine.
It's long past time that someone in Europe injected reality into genuine Middle East peacemaking. Kudos to Sarkozy and Juppe for doing so.