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Are there solutions to this ongoing, generational conflict?
CDG :We will now talk about the middle-east. If you want, I was asked questions about the current conflict and I'm now ready to answer them.
J1 : War having started in the middle-east 6 month ago, it ended almost immediately as everybody knows. What do you think about the evolution of the international situation in that part of the world ?
J2 : How is that, that Israel is the aggressor when it is Nasser who closed the strait of Tiran ?
The establishment, between the two world wars … because you have to go back that far.
The establishment, of a Zionist seed in Palestine. And then after the second world war, the establishment of the state of Israel, was raising a few suspicions.
People were wondering, even many Jews, if the settlement of this community on lands that were acquired in a more-or-less legitimate context – and in the middle of arab people that are deeply hostile to them – wouldn't generate unstopping, endless,frictions and conflicts.
And even some were fearful that the Jews, - so far scattered, but that managed to stay what they have been forever : an elite population, self-confident, and dominating – started, once gathered on the site of his previous glory, to change their ambitions in the hopes they were chasing for 19 centuries : 'Next year in Jerusalem !'
Despite the cycle of persecutions that they were causing – or should I say inducing – in some countries, at some eras, they managed to keep an important amount of sympathy and interest in their favor. Mostly, let's admit it, among the Christians.
An amount (of sympathy) traced back to the memory of the Testament, fed by all source by a wonderful liturgy, enforced by the empathy caused by their ancient suffering, and turned poetic by the legend of the roaming jew, re-enforced by the abominations they endured during the second world war, and developed – since they got back a homeland – by their constructive achievements and the bravery of their soldiers.
That's why – despite the numerous supports, in money, influence, propaganda that the Israelis were receiving from Jewish communities of America and Europe – many countries, including France, were satisfied by the establishment of their homeland on the territory that the big powers acknowledge them. But were hoping that – by using a bit of modesty – they would be able to reach a peaceful 'modus vivendi' (way of living) with their neighbors.
These psychological considerations changed after 1956.
After a joined French and British operation in the Suez Canal, we noticed a Israeli state warmongering and ready to expend.
And then, the actions they were carrying out in order to double their population, through immigration, led us to think that their new territory wouldn't be enough anyway and that they were ready in order to further extend it, to use any opportunity to do so.
That's why at the time the fifth republic took distances with Israel, special tights that were in place as part of the previous situation were reconsidered and, the fifth republic was trying to make less tensions in the middle-east.
Of course we kept with the Israeli government good relations, and even, we provided them for their defense, the weaponry they were asking to buy.
But at the same time, we offered them some moderation advises, about the Jordan River or about the skirmishes that were opposing forces on both sides.
Finally we disagreed with their installation in a part of the city of Jerusalem they conquered, and we maintain our embassy in Tel-Aviv.
Then, once the Algerian affair was over (Algerian independence, we initiated with the Arab people of the middle-east, the same policy of friendship and cooperation that was for centuries the one of France in that part of the world. And this policy has to be the base of the way we treat our foreign affairs.
Of course, we made it obvious for the Arab as well that for us, the state of Israel was a fact and that we wouldn't tolerate its destruction. So that, all in all, we were expecting to be able to offer to that part of the world a long and lasting peace cause be installed. If only no new drama takes place … And, unfortunately, the drama took place (Six Days War). This went gradually, with an increasing tension caused by the scandalous fate of the refugees in Jordan. And because of the threads calling to destroy Israel.
The 22nd May, the strait of Tiran closure, embarrassingly caused by Egypt, would offer the ideal excuse to those who wanted to fight.
In order to prevent hostilities, France offered as of 24th May, to the three others main powers, to prevent both parties to engage conflict.
The 2nd June, the French government officially declared that he would disprove the one who first would start the fight and we made it clear to all the countries involved. That's what I personally declare on the 24th of May to the foreign minister of Israel, I happened to meet in Paris.
'If Israel is attacked' – I told him – 'We wouldn't let it destroy. But if you, we will condemn your initiative. Despite the numerical inferiority of your population since you happen to be better organized - united – and armed than the Arabs, I wouldn't be surprised that you would have military success. But then, you would be engage, on the ground and on the international scene, in ever growing problems. Mostly because war in the middle always causes an increasing tension in the whole world and have a lot of embarrassing issues for the other countries as well. So that it's up to you, now conquerors, that should be blamed for the side effects.'.
We now know that the voice of France hasn't heard, Israel having attacked.
They reached after six days of war most of the objectives they targeted.
Now, they organize on the territories it conquered, occupation.
Occupation that goes along with oppression, repression, expulsion.
And there manifest itself against him, the resistance, that he then label as terrorist.
It is true that both parties are now having a fragile cease-fire, promote by the united nations but it is obvious that the conflict is only suspended and that there can't be any solution without an international agreement.
But a solution – unless the UN decided to scrap its own chart – a solution needs to start with the evacuation of the territories that were grabbed by force, the end of all combats, and the recognition of both states by all the others.
After that, with the approval of the UN, their presence and the guarantee of their troops it would be possible to define definitively the drawing of the borders. Conditions of daily life and security on both sides. The fate of the refugees and the local minorities.
And then, the conditions for free navigation for all in the Tiran strait and the Suez canal.
So that such a solution could take place, solution to which - according to France – you should add an international status for Jerusalem. For such a solution you need the agreement of the major power that would automatically provide the agreement of the UN.
And if such an agreement can take place, France is ready to offer political, economical and military support to enforce the deal. But I don't see how such an agreement could take place as long as one of the biggest of four, would be rid of the infamous war he is fighting elsewhere.
Everything is entangled in our world today.
Without the drama of Vietnam, the conflict between Israel and the Arabs would have escalated that much. And if south-eastern Asia would see peace coming back, the middle-east would have it back soon as well. As part of the overall decrease of tension that would ensure …