The Paris Peace Conference Déjà Vu – Epilogue

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French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault at Paris Peace Conference, January 15, 2017 (Photo: Facebook)

Previous parts of this series:

Part 1: The History. How the West repeatedly derailed Middle East peace
Part 2: The Mystery. Why the West keeps derailing Israeli-Palestinian peace
Part 3: The Reality. Why God is laughing

The unprecedented coaching and staging of this peace conference included writing the ‘concluding statement’ before the speeches even started. Yet the careful planning disintegrated into spectacular confusion, provoking ridicule and back-pedaling.

LOL! Here’s what happens when men try to outwit their Maker

Unable to accept God’s verdict on Jerusalem ownership, the 2017 Paris Conference tried to “lift” the “stone” (Zech. 12:3) and rewrite the decree. And sure enough, they were “severely injured“, to the point where they stopped making sense… and didn’t even realize it!

Here are some of the hilarious bloopers emanating from the powers-that-wannabe, all of whom were apparently unaware of how silly they sounded:

[1] The 2017 Paris “Middle East” Peace Conference was already controversial before it opened, mainly for its neglect of huge Middle East disasters while obsessing over Israel. The protests turned to jeers with French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault’s goofy defense in Haaretz. Ayrault first reassured the critics that the obsession was fully justified. The “crises throughout the region, from Syria to Libya, from Yemen to Iraq,” are merely “supposed priorities“. They are just distractions from the one Crisis that “cannot wait“.

Yes indeed, others may be fooled, but not Paris! The bombings and expulsions, slave-taking and massacring, crucifixions and beheadings, are all connected to one source: Israel’s failure to implement the “two-state solution”… again. Pretending amnesia regarding the 11-year-old chaos in the fully liberated Palestinian state of Gaza, Ayrault serenely predicted that “only a two-state solution will, in time, bring stability to the region….”

[2] Within days Ayrault’s sense of heroic urgency was shattered by the exactly opposite message from outgoing US State Secretary John Kerry. Phoning Israel from the conference while it was still in session, Kerry informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it would yield “no resulting consequences“. That’s a phrase meaning “pointless”, but Kerry seemed proud of his commitment to it. So Israel dutifully relayed his statement to global media, which repeated it hundreds of times.

Media personalities at the Wall Street Journal tried unsuccessfully to keep a straight face while wondering out loudwhat he expected to achieve there.” Whatever Kerry thought of the Paris effort, his prophecy backfired. There were some very real “consequences“, providing delightful material for satire on Conference participants, including Kerry himself.

[3] The Conference statement itself provoked some head-scratching. It was explicit in delegitimizing all “unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final status issues,” including Jerusalem… right after its own unilateral call to “fully end the occupation that began in 1967,” including Jerusalem. Australia signed the statement, then distanced itself from it. In a compounded contradiction, Britain outright refused to sign the communiqué (which adopted the UNSC Resolution they themselves had authored), and then actively “blocked the EU from adopting it.

[4] When cornered in a press conference about this UK mutiny, the EU’s “High Representative” Federica Mogherini denied it, sort of, by downplaying the confrontation as “an informal discussion“. But then she dodged a request to verify or refute that “at least 25 countries” in the COREPER (EU Committee of Permanent Representatives) had sided with Britain in refusing to endorse the Paris statement. Her coy reply: “You do not expect my press conference to comment on the work of the ambassadors in COREPER I guess.

Mogherini’s attempt to “guess” away the journalist’s obvious expectation of an answer, rather than simply answering the question, hints at the bedlam that must have erupted in the EU over the Paris statement. Punch-line: The entire COREPER consists of only 28 members.

[5] The PA, which apparently doesn’t read EU press releases, bashed only the two Anglo countries for their doubts about the Paris initiative. The intimidation didn’t seem to work, maybe because PA leaders also broke rank by being both pleased and displeased with Paris results. Most curious of all was PLO spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi, who let it slip that she resented the Conference’s condemnation of “all acts of violence and terror” as unfairly applied to Palestinians.

[6] Meanwhile, outgoing President Obama dug himself into a deeper pit trying to justify his decision to have the US abstain on UNSC-2334. In his final White House press conference on Jan. 18 (time-mark 1:12:00), he complained that lack of a Palestinian state in Israel’s Biblical heartland was, among other things, “bad for America’s national security“. That peculiar assessment was so self-evident it didn’t need elaboration, so he went on to explain that this was why “it was important for us to send a signal, a wake-up call” by allowing the UN to outlaw all Jewish presence in that Biblical heartland.

But here Obama volunteered new self-incriminating testimony: he clarified that his personal diplomatic assault wasn’t against Israel’s leaders. It’s the “Israeli voters [who] need to understand” his disapproval of their choices, and switch to “a more sober assessment of what the alternatives are“.

Knowing the Israeli psyche, that revelation is going to trigger a “wake-up” of a different kind. Nothing provokes more ridicule than a neo-colonialist publicly congratulating himself on a failed attempt at manipulation. “And it set him aflame all around, yet he did not recognize it; and it burned him, but he paid no attention.” (Isa. 42:25)

All this incoherence was picked up by the media. Some onlookers blamed it on Israel’s unexpected back-talk, others on Trump’s scary shadow. Secular Jewish commentator Jack Englehard (only half-kidding) attributed the rout to “divine intervention“. Maybe he could sense Heaven’s amusement.

“Why are the [united] nations in an uproar, and the [Paris] peoples devising a vain thing?…. He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” – Ps. 2:1-4

Whether mankind acknowledges it or not, Divine scoffing is contagious. News outlets across the political spectrum competed with colorful descriptions of the Peace Conference flop, ranging from the Shakespearean put-down “much ado about nothing” (JPost) to the uniquely disdainful “damp squib” (Al Jazeera). Rabbi Shmuley Boteach waxed poetic, calling it “THE PITIABLE, PATHETIC PARIS PEACE PARLEY“. Commentators denounced the entire concept of discussing peace without those expected to make peace, calling it an “overhyped talkfest“, a “funeral without a corpse” and a “wedding without bride or groom.” Israel’s former UN ambassador Ron Prosor quipped that the only real content found there were “the etiquette, the fireworks and the crispy croissants”. Ordinary citizens logged onto social media with sarcasm and original caricatures. Even Oslo architect Yossi Beilin ridiculed it as a gathering that “ended with a whimper, as expected.

The wave of mockery was an echo of God’s own scorn.

After 2000 years, He has restored Jerusalem to its rightful owner. All the global heaving to budge that Rock will produce nothing except a sinking Déjà Vu feeling… and maybe this time a collective hernia as well!