Netanyahu Spokesman: Paris Mideast Summit Like ‘Marriage Counseling With Neither Husband Nor Wife Present’

French Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Paris Peace Summit. Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

TEL AVIV – The Paris peace summit on Sunday, at which neither Israel nor the Palestinians were represented, was “like having marriage counseling with neither the husband nor the wife present,” a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told BBC News.

Echoing Netanyahu’s own sentiments, David Keyes said the conference, which was attended by foreign ministers of more than 70 nations with the aim of resuming the moribund peace process toward a two-state solution, was a “relic of the past” and “futile.”

Keyes said the obstacle to peace has nothing to do with Israeli policies or Netanyahu, and that the blame lay squarely on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“He said no to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. He said no to direct negotiations with Israel. And frankly, he said no to stopping the glorification of murderers and the horrific hate speech which is indoctrinating children from a very young age,” Keyes said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted that the confab, which was attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, “turned as flat as a failed soufflé.”

“A big show is no replacement for direct negotiations between the parties,” he wrote.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised the final communique of the Paris peace summit on Sunday, saying it “reaffirmed” the recent UN Security Council resolution attacking Israeli settlements.


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