Paris Peace Talks: Like a Wedding without a Bride or Groom
What happens when you plan a wedding and either the bride or groom doesn't show up? That's how Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely described this Sunday's upcoming Paris conference to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. She released a statement and said, "(It's) like a wedding with neither bride nor groom."
And even though a number of friends of the bride and groom (Israel and the Palestinian Authority) will be at the conference – possibly up to 70 nations – Hotovely is not optimistic. She stressed, "Peace will be achieved between the sides only through direct talks and not by external coercion. The conference won't bring peace; on the contrary, it will distance peace. Israel achieved peace with Egypt and Jordan through direct talks."
Israel won't attend the Paris conference since it wants direct negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Hotovely told CBN News in a one-on-one interview she's trying to keep Israel's friends away from this forced marriage.
"First of all, we deliver a message to all our friends that it's not a good thing to participate in a conference that basically is going to reach nothing and it's actually even harmful to promote every good intentions that they have on the ground," she said.
While Hotovely didn't address the role of the United States in the Paris peace conference, Anne Bayefsky of the Touro Institute accused President Barack Obama of being the wedding planner.
"The situation is that the president of the United States has gone rogue and essentially he is upending the transfer of power and has decided to arrange with the French to have a meeting five days before he leaves office on international law of 70 countries that will attempt to impose some kind deal creating a Palestinian terror state on Israel," she told the Wall Street Journal.
Bayefsky and others are concerned the Paris peace conference will be the next but not the last step after the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 in late December. That resolution declared the territory Israel captured in its defensive 1967 Six-Day War "occupied Palestinian territory." It invalidated nearly 50 years of the land for peace process formula.
It also removed most if not all of Israel's leverage in peace negotiations since the land in question – Judea and Samaria (known as the West Bank) – was designated Palestinian land. It also ignored or denied Israel's more than three thousand-year historical connection to Jerusalem and sites as the Western Wall, the Temple Mount and the City of David.
Following the Paris Peace Conference, one last step before President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20 could be one more U.N. Security Council resolution if it reconvenes from Jan. 17 through Jan. 9. Some speculate that resolution could enshrine "Palestine" as a full member of the United Nations.
Through all of these diplomatic machinations, some intercessors see the folly of the nations in action. Psalm 2 says "Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision."
Others like Bayefsky are looking to President-elect Trump to let these same nations know there will be consequences once he takes office if they vote against Israel. After all, he promised that after Jan. 20, "Everything will change."