Protests in Tel Aviv, Paris Over ‘Peace’ Conference

“I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for He is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end.” Daniel 6:27 (The Israel Bible™)

Hundreds of supporters of Israel demonstrated in front of the Israeli embassy in Paris and the French embassy in Tel Aviv Sunday to protest the international “peace” conference in the French capital without Israeli or Palestinian participation.

The Tel Aviv protest was organized by Olivier Rafowicz, a reserve IDF colonel and former IDF Spokesperson, initiated the protest under the slogan “Israel is not for sale!” Organizers called the gathering a “hypocritical initiative of a France who wants to divide Jerusalem and give the holy places to the Arabs in the name of ‘peace’.”

“The goal was to stand firmly against the idea that foreign countries can just impose their decisions on Israel without our even being there,” said Rafowicz to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“Peace cannot be achieved at the expense of Israel, only through negotiations between the concerned parties,” he argued.

“We are outraged that a conference like this was convened five days prior to the inauguration day of president-elect Trump, and towards the end of Hollande’s tenure as well, to discuss essential issues for Israel. This is especially potent in light of the common values underpinning Israel, France and Europe…This maneuver deliberately disregard Israel’s interests in a futile attempt.”

Rafowicz also said that France must respect the decisions of the democratically-elected government of Israel. French interference in Israeli affairs must not be allowed, like interference in the opposite direction would not be appropriate.

“Reigniting direct talks is done through quiet diplomatic channels, not through media pressure. Here, France attempted to create an international steamroller against Israel like the one used in the fight against ISIS, international terrorism or Nigeria’s Boko-Haram,” Rafowicz concluded.

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Earlier Sunday, around 2500 French Jews convened in front of the Israeli embassy in Paris, in support of Israel and Jerusalem as its indivisible capital. That gathering, attended by Meyer Habib, member of parliament for the 8th constituency of French citizens abroad and Amiza Bin-Noun,  Israeli Ambassador to France and Monaco.

“In all previous international forums convened on the topic of peace in the Middle East, we have witnessed a blatant anti-Israel obsession. This conference has no other goal than to blacken the name of the State of Israel, as was done in recent UN, UNESCO and WHO [declarations],” said Francis Khalifat, President of the Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) and organizer of the conference.

Speaking to TPS by phone from Paris, Khalifat argued that concessions are always demanded from Israel and responsibility for the situation in the Middle East is always ascribed to the Jewish State. “This demonstration is to support the position of French Jewry supporting the demand for direct negotiations and non-internationalization of the conflict.

“We also want to remind France and Europe that the terrorism harming them today is the same one which is hitting Jerusalem. Instead of attacking Israel, the nations that have suffered terror attacks should support the Jewish State, itself a victim of terrorism since its establishment,” argued Khalifat.

Khalifat concluded by claiming that French Jewry continues to hope for a peaceful solution in the region, like all Israelis, least of all because many of them have family members and friends in Israel and feel connected to what is happening.

“On the other hand, it remains important to note  that the French Jews are also worried because every time Israel is blamed for non-resolution of the conflict it can, and often does, awaken the sleeping bear of anti-semitic feelings in France,” concluded Khalifat.

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