Paris Mideast conference: why bother?

So 70 nations sent officials to Paris to tell Israel and the Palestinians that they have to make peace. Wow. Be still, my beating heart. No one has ever said that before. Well, not more than a few hundred times. I discussed the conference with host Bruce Sakalik on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh a few minutes ago.

Of course, there were subliminal messages here. There was a call on both sides to refrain from unilateral measures, a call The Associated Press interpreted as directed only at Israel and its settlement building in the West Bank. I guess the AP doesn’t consider the Palestinians appealing to all kinds of international bodies to condemn Israel a unilateral measure.

And while we’re on the subject, here’s a direct quote from the AP report from Paris:

In a nod to Israel, the final declaration of Sunday’s conference included criticism of incitement and “terror,” a reference to Palestinian attacks.

This comes a week after a Palestinian truck driver plowed into a group of Israeli cadet soldiers touring Jerusalem, killing four and wounding others while driving back and forth over their bodies.

All you have to do to reinforce Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s self-serving reuters-parispronouncement that the Paris conference is a “rigged” effort to supplant negotiations and push peace farther away is to put “terror” in quotes like that and call the reference a “nod to Israel,” as if otherwise, it’s perfectly all right to kill Israelis every chance you get.

I worked for AP for 15 years. I left because its coverage of this issue became more and more pro-Palestinian, and I didn’t think it should be pro-anyone. And I never thought I’d see the day when Reuters coverage of an Israel-Palestinian story would be more balanced than AP’s. That day has arrived.

Listen to the end of this brief radio analysis for my outline of an effective international peace conference. I’m not saying you’ll like it.

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