France urged Israel’s incoming prime minister, Yair Lapid, to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians on Tuesday, but Lapid downplayed those chances, citing right-wing factions in his caretaker administration in the run-up to an election in November.
Prior to their meeting in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said, ‘The people of Israel is lucky’ to have Lapid as its premier.
Speaking in front of the cameras, Macron declared that political discussion was the only way to reduce tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
‘This process has been broken for too long,’ Macron said, adding that he knew how much history could be made if Lapid were to restart it. Macron also said he thought Lapid ‘has what it takes’ to be successful.
Lapid, a secularist and moderate, has long advocated that it would be beneficial for Israel’s long-term needs if negotiations on Palestinian independence were to resume after they were put on hold in 2014. But when Netanyahu took over as prime minister last year from nationalist coalition partner Naftali Bennett, he did so with a cabinet that included hawks opposed to handing up occupied territory to the Palestinians.