Abbas-Macron meeting: talk of “peace” to normalize colonialism

On Wednesday, 20 July 2022 in Paris, a meeting took place between French president Emmanuel Macron and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. This is Abbas’ first visit to France since 2018 and takes place a few weeks following the visit of Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid with the French president, which produced multiple pledges of friendship and strategic cooperation.

Unsurprisingly, this meeting is yet another attempt on the part of France to market the “two-state solution” cheaply. That is to say, it is another effort to legitimize settler colonialism and the dispossession of the Palestinian people throughout the vast majority of the land of Palestine, from the river to the sea. As Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and co-founder of the Masar Badil (the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement) pointed out in a discussion with the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, “This is nothing more than another cheap attempt to market illusions about the so-called ‘peace process,’ including one of the most damaging economic outcomes of that ‘process’, the Paris Protocols. The so-called ‘two-state solution’ is dead, and offers nothing but apartheid as a solution for the Palestinian people.”

In his declaration, French president Macron specifies that his proposed solution “begins with the end of unilateral measures on the ground. I am thinking in particular of the evictions of Palestinian families, home demolitions, and the settlement policy, which are contrary to international law and which rule out the possibility of a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.” At the same time, he rejects any form of Palestinian resistance and multiples declarations and agreements in support of the Israeli regime. In addition to betraying all of the national rights of the Palestinian people, the defense of the “two-state solution” is a precious tool for Israeli colonialism, which has continued to accelerate since the Oslo Accords of 1993, with the number of settlers in the occupied West Bank of Palestine multiplying.

As Khaled Barakat noted, “France is not a friend of the Palestinian people. On the contrary, it is obvious that France is Israel’s ally and partner. This is not only the past history of France but its current reality. For example, the Macron government’s attempt to ban Palestine solidarity organizations and progressive voices working for Palestine, as well as the imprisonment of Georges Abdallah for 38 years for fighting for the liberation of Palestine. French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri remains imprisoned without charge or trial by Israel and almost nothing has been done by the French government.” On this matter, Mahmoud Abbas had no words to say for the prisoners of the Palestinian liberation movement held behind bars, yet another illustration that he represents the corrupt Palestinian bourgeoisie tied directly to the Oslo accords and, as Barakat points out, “not the Palestinian people and their continued resistance for return and liberation.”

Macron further stated, “I was discussing the war in Ukraine, I would like to conclude by recalling the food insecurity it is causing all over the world, especially in the Palestinian territories and I am thinking in particular of the people of Gaza.” This is scandalous! Who can believe that the situation in Gaza is mainly linked to the war in Ukraine? The blockade imposed by the Zionist state for the past 15 years is responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with the complicity of the Sisi regime in Egypt and the Western powers, including France.

For his part, Abbas affirmed his “gratitude to the EU and its Member States for their important and persistent role in creating stability and peace and in improving the economic conditions of the Palestinian people.” Here, it must be noted that France is one of the main providers of European aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Macron, as did his predecessors, presents himself as a “balanced” authority, but that should deceive no one. This is only a means of maintaining his regional influence and of attempting to peddle mirages in an effort to neutralize those who revolt against the barbarism of the Israeli occupation. In fact, the humanitarian aid provided by the United States and the European Union, including France, is used as a tool of pressure on the Palestinian people, which is granted only by the imperialist powers in exchange for a commitment to docility in the part of the PA. It is in this context that we must understand the multiple expressions of gratitude and thanks from Abbas.

The PA president also spoke about the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, without clearly identifying those responsible, Israeli occupation forces. On this occasion, a further bewildering scene took place, where the translator in the press conference laughed and Macron smiled, just as Abbas discussed the assassination. This says a great deal about the lack of consideration for Palestinian victims of Israeli crimes on the part of the French authorities.

This diplomatic charade, like the other “international summits” and “peace processes” (Oslo, Camp David, etc.) only aim to reinforce the Israeli occupation and attack the Palestinian resistance. We will not be fooled by Macron’s intentions or Abbas’s complicity: they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Source: Collectif Palestine Vaincra