By BB Portnoy
A France-hosted international diplomatic conference set to be held on Jan. 15 could lead to further action against the Jewish state at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday.
In remarks delivered to a group of Israeli ambassadors at a Foreign Ministry conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu stated, “The Paris conference is a futile conference, but there are signs that they will try to take decisions reached there and have them become another decision at the UN Security Council. We are entering a big diplomatic effort in order to succeed in avoiding this.”
Last Friday, as reported by The Algemeiner, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged French President Francois Hollande to cancel the planned summit.
“In the aftermath of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which was a significant step backward in achieving direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Secretary [of State John] Kerry’s speech on Middle East peace earlier this week, the international community should not plunge forward with the ill-conceived and poorly timed Paris conference,” CPMAJO Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statment. “Now is a time for serious reflection on how peace can best be achieved, not for another sham forum in which the usual one-sided outcomes against Israel are the likeliest result. Given the significant issues that were raised in the past week which have long-term implications for the prospects for peace, proper preparation after serious consultation is essential.”
In an interview with The Algemeiner last week, Hoenlein cautioned it was possible the Obama administration could — following the recent passage of the anti-Israeli settlement Security Council resolution last Friday — take a “further damaging step” against the Jewish state before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
“We need to prepare for every option,” Hoenlein said.
Expressing concern about the upcoming Paris conference, Hoenlein argued that it “could produce a document that could then be brought to the Security Council for an immediate vote.”
On Tuesday, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said in a statement that the Paris conference would “provide the international community an opportunity to gratuitously gang up on Israel. The past two weeks have already seen Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a speech unfairly blaming Israel for the current impasse and the United Nations Security Council pass a resolution broadly condemning the Jewish state. The Paris summit should not take place, as it will only further embolden the Palestinians and disincentivize them to negotiate.”
Watch Netanyahu’s statement below:
(c) 2016 The Algemeiner