Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the proverbial elephant in the china shop every time he opens his mouth to comment on the situation in the Middle East. Yesterday, he told a gathering in Jerusalem the city would remain under Israel control and no part of it would be turned over to Palestinians. “Jereusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, a city reunified so as never again to be divided.” The French government was furious at the remarks which ignored legitimate Palestinian concerns about the future of an independent nation. French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Frederic Desagneaux, retorted to the comments by saying: “the declaration made by the Israeli prime minister yesterday in Jerusalem prejudices the final status agreement.” He made clear “in France’s eyes, Jerusalem should, within the framework of a negotiated peace deal, become the capital of two states.”
The French are concerned about expanding housing on the West Bank, blowing up Palestinian homes or declaring them to have been built, ‘illegally’ in order justifying taking possession of the properties, because these actions make impossible any agreement between the conflicting parties.
Netanyahu insists he told Obama about his feelings toward Jerusalem. If so, the president must share the French anger at the inept behavior of the Israel prime minister.