RNA - The ministry’s spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement on Tuesday that Hélène le Gal had been summoned for “a verbal reprimand” over comments made earlier in the week by Gérard Araud in which he declared Israel an “apartheid state.”
“We firmly protested the remark,” Nahshon said.
In an April 19 interview with The Atlantic magazine, Araud said Israel was “extremely comfortable” with the status quo “because they [can] have the cake and eat it. They have the West Bank, but at the same time they don’t have to make the painful decision about the Palestinians, really making them really, totally stateless or making them citizens of Israel.
“They won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official, which is we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially an apartheid state. They are in fact already,” the outgoing French ambassador to the United States noted.
Araud also pointed to the US President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century,” stressing that the plan will be “very close to what the Israelis want,” and is 99 percent “doomed to fail.”
The French diplomat went on to say that Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner “doesn’t know the history” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” noting, “He may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that.”
Trump’s so-called “peace plan” has been dismissed by Palestinian authorities ahead of its unveiling at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the formation of the new Israeli cabinet, most likely in June.
Speaking in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on April 16, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at Trump’s initiative, asserting that it was “born dead.”
Shtayyeh noted that negotiations with the US were useless in the wake of the country’s relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, which Palestinians consider the capital city of their future state.