Middle East Monitor / October 8, 2020
The French Ambassador to Israel, Eric Danon, has said that his country might update its position regarding the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Al-Quds Al-Araby reported on Wednesday. Danon apparently made his comments during a discussion initiated by Allent, a pro-Israel lobby group in Europe.
“We will not negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians,” he said. “This is a bilateral question and we say that the new situation that has arisen must be taken into account and returned to the negotiating table.”
He added that nobody knows what will happen in the end: one state, two states, with or without Jerusalem. “What we prefer and think will be best is a two state solution. Does that mean we cannot agree on something else? Not at all. We can accept any solution that the Palestinians and Israelis agree on.”
Referring to the UAE and Bahrain normalisation deals with Israel, Danon said: “Six months ago, no one could have imagined that Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain would sign the Abraham Accords.” He suggested that Israel has become a new regional power and the Palestinian question is fatigued. “The Middle East has completely changed because of [this and] the position of the United States, Iran and Turkey.”
According to Maariv, Danon has said similar things in the past, but then they were defined in Paris as a “private stand” or an “experimental balloon”. This time, however, a diplomat in Paris said that there is a shift in the French position towards the US position.
“French diplomacy is having a hard time putting all its weight on the two-state solution, as it becomes unrealistic on the ground,” the diplomat pointed out. “What the ambassador said is self-evident. That it is important to resume negotiations as soon as possible. The Palestinians have never been so weak. They could lose everything.”
It is worth noting that in his speech at the UN General Assembly French President Emanuel Macron mentioned “crucial negotiations that will allow the Palestinians to finally enjoy their rights,” but did not talk about “two states,” said Maariv.