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Dissecting the forthcoming French spectacle

France has remained at the helm of twisting rhetoric regarding the forthcoming conference, which is now also serving Israeli interests by furthering the terror narrative espoused by Daesh and appending it unscrupulously to Palestine.

Playing his role in the diplomatic endeavour that is sure to harm Palestinian interests further, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault delivered a speech at Ben Gurion airport after visiting both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He declared: "It's clear to us – and I said this to Netanyahu, that we cannot fulfil the role of the two sides. They will need to carry out direct negotiations but because the process is stuck, they need external help."

Ayrault also added: "France has no vested interest, but is deeply concerned that if we don't want to let the ideas of the Islamic State [Daesh] group prosper in this region, we must do something."

Roles, political expectations and acquiescence are clearly evident. Predictably, the PA has assumed the usual stance of compromised gratitude, with PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki eliminating Palestine from prominence and shifting focus to France in his comments. He said: "We wish France and its efforts success because the French efforts are the only ones on the ground now and could eventually result in giving the political process a good push forward at this stage."

Clearly, the PA's political imagination is restricted to extending the colonisation process through willing, submissive collaboration, rather than supporting other actions on the ground, including legitimate armed resistance. Hamas has articulated a clear stance with regard to the proposed spectacle, pointing out ambiguities and making a clear argument about what constitutes valid legitimacy. The movement has exposed the fallacy of opting for international proposals which have consistently proved the intent to impose international impositions upon the colonised population in exchange for international legitimacy which, in the case of Palestine, is loaned and discarded according to colonial and imperialist agendas.

France's reference to Daesh is reminiscent of Netanyahu's remarks erroneously equating Hamas resistance with the terror network that has availed itself of the mutating violence in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The convenience of the "war on terror" metaphor applied to Palestine is dangerous. If Abbas is willing to allow this merging of narratives, the PA is guilty of allowing yet another false discourse to obscure Palestinian history and memory. It is indeed conceivable, unfortunately, that such distortion will be allowed by the PA in order to safeguard its corrupted existence.

Ultimately, the French manipulation of history and events has served to highlight one main, regular occurrence. Netanyahu's refusal to negotiate is always juxtaposed against the PA's grovelling. Palestinians do have valid alternatives. These, however, are derided, demonised and shunned by the international community and its preference for Abbas, who embodies the concept of concessions. It is of no wonder that France has stated its refusal to "fulfil the role of the two sides". Given the circumstances and the political actors, it can continue its role as an impostor supporter of Palestine while dedicating its efforts to Israel's colonisation project.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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