Jan. 5, 2017
Friends of Israel Initiative: Letter to President of France François Hollande
Dear Mr. President,
We are a group of former Heads of State, Heads of Government, Nobel Laureates, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Military officers, Historians, Scholars and Business Leaders with a simple goal: to insist on a fair and reasonable debate about the State of Israel, the fate of which we see as intimately intertwined with the fate of our own nations in this troubled era.
In the spirit of the search for lasting solutions in the Middle East, we write to urge you in the strongest possible terms to call off the peace conference you plan to host on January 15. The conference will do nothing to accomplish peace and instead result in further harm to its very prospects.
We note with some alarm the narrative proposed by French diplomats in the media surrounding this endeavor, born no doubt of genuine concern but not of genuine opportunity, and framed in terms that are inaccurate and untimely.
Coming in the wake of UN Security Council resolution 2334, and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry’s subsequent speech on December 28 of last year, both of which gravely misportrayed the realities underlying the conflict and have damaged prospects for peace, the Paris conference would undeniably also serve to reinforce currents of diplomacy that run directly counter to peace. A fundamental truth of the conflict remains that peace can only be achieved on the basis of direct negotiations between the parties with no preconditions.