France asks Israel to drop West Bank annexation plans

France asks Israel to drop West Bank annexation plans
Macron told Netanyahu that France remained committed to Israel’s security and “expressed his attachment to the friendship and confidence that links France and Israel.” (File/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2020

France asks Israel to drop West Bank annexation plans

France asks Israel to drop West Bank annexation plans
  • Macron said annexation “would jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution”
  • The controversial move was endorsed in a Middle East plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump in January

PARIS, France: Emmanuel Macron asked Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from annexing Palestinian territory in the West Bank and elsewhere during a telephone call between the two leaders, the French president’s office said on Friday.
Macron “emphasised that such a move would contravene international law and jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution as the basis of a fair and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” his office said in a statement after the call on Thursday.
It was the latest move by European leaders pressing Netanyahu to drop plans to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley.
The controversial move was endorsed in a Middle East plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump in January.
Israel’s government had set July 1 as the date when it could begin taking over the Palestinian areas, where the population of Israeli settlers has grown since the 1967 Six-Day War.
The foreign ministries of France and Germany, along with those of Egypt and Jordan — the only Arab states to have peace deals with Israel — warned this week that any annexation could have “consequences” for relations.
But Macron told Netanyahu that France remained committed to Israel’s security and “expressed his attachment to the friendship and confidence that links France and Israel,” his office said.


What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

Updated 03 December 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

Separatism has been on the rise across the world since the end of the Cold War, dividing countries through political strife, ethnic conflict, and civil war, and redrawing the political map. Gangsters and Other Statesmen examines the role transnational mafias play in the success and failure of separatist movements, challenging conventional wisdom about the interrelation of organized crime with peacebuilding, nationalism, and state making.

Danilo Mandic conducted fieldwork in the disputed territories of Kosovo and South Ossetia, talking to mobsters, separatists, and policymakers in war zones and along major smuggling routes. In this timely and provocative book, he demonstrates how globalized mafias shape the politics of borders in torn states, shedding critical light on an autonomous nonstate actor that has been largely sidelined by considerations of geopolitics, state-centered agency, and ethnonationalism. Blending extensive archival sleuthing and original ethnographic data with insights from sociology and other disciplines, Mandic argues that organized crime can be a fateful determinant of state capacity, separatist success, and ethnic conflict.

Putting mafias at the center of global processes of separatism and territorial consolidation, Gangsters and Other Statesmen raises vital questions and urges reconsideration of a host of separatist cases in West Africa, the Middle East, and East Europe.