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  • Ayoon Wa Azan (He Did Not Want to Embarrass the King)
    Fri, 06 January 2012
    Jihad el-Khazen

    In the schools of Western journalism, we were strictly told not to use phrases like ‘needless to say’. We were told: If there is no need to say it, then don’t. I learned this lesson by heart, yet I find myself today compelled to start with a platitude, something we were also told not to use, namely, that peace with the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is impossible. For one thing, it is a fascist far-right government, comprising neo-Nazi parties and racist religious groups, a government that seeks to grab Palestinian land and expel its people.

    Away from the meeting in Jordan between the Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and his counterpart Yitzhak Molcho, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu was busy passing belligerent laws through the Knesset, such as the so-called Gronis law, named after the head of the Supreme Court Asher Gronis, to interfere in the selection process for judges and impose governmental oversight over the Bar Association and the Supreme Court itself. While the leader of Kadima and the opposition Tzipi Livni said that there was a scheme to push Israel to become undemocratic, I say that Israel was never a democracy, and that it will soon be ruled by the far right.

    Maariv said that Netanyahu took advantage of the Israelis’ preoccupation with the confrontation with the Haredim fanatics, who want to segregate women and men, to approve decisions to build thousands of housing units here and there. We know that all this took place in conjunction with settler attacks against the Palestinians and a wave of arson attacks against mosques. Even Yoram Cohen, the Shin Bet chief, said in a conference of Israeli ambassadors that those who attack Palestinian civilians are terrorists.

    So why has there been a meeting between the Palestinians and a neo-Nazi government in this situation? It was held under pressure, not as a result of Palestinian conviction.

    The Quartet had given the two sides three months to submit their proposals on the disputed issues. Dr Erekat thus submitted his side’s vision on border and security issues, while Molcho only spoke about security. In other words, he wants the Palestinians to guarantee Israel’s security, while the Israeli government works on uprooting them from their country.

    A second meeting between the two sides is scheduled for next week. But needless to say, once again, the meeting will not produce any results. For what the Palestinians said were exploratory talks, were held only after extensive pressure from the Obama administration and Israel on the Palestinian authority. Indeed, the Americans had threatened to cut off U.S. aid for one year and suspend Palestinian representation in Washington for three months, if Palestine was admitted as a member of any UN agency or by the international organization itself, while Israel threatened to stop paying the Palestinian authority’s tax dues. Moreover, the Americans put pressure on King Abdullah II to persuade the Palestinians to take part in the meeting. Hence, President Mahmoud Abbas decided to ‘oblige’ the two sides by accepting to take part in the meeting, since he did not want to embarrass the Jordanian king, with whom Abbas enjoys close ties.

    The U.S. administration told the Palestinian president to choose between it and Hamas. In fact, the administration, along with the EU, Russia and Israel, opposes any inter-Palestinian reconciliation before Hamas renounces violence, accepts the signed agreements and recognizes Israel, even when the latter is home to bona fide terrorist groups such as Likud, Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu.

    I say: Not in a million years. This is another thing that is self-evident: The Prime Minister of the government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh was on an official visit to Turkey at the time of the meeting in Amman, and he strongly opposed it.

    Hamas rejected the demands made on it during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, who was publicly antagonistic to the group. As such, it will surely not accept the conditions of the West and Israel with the Islamists on their way to rule Egypt, since Hamas is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Finally, I conclude with another platitude: The Islamists in every Arab county shall never recognize Israel, from Morocco to Libya, Egypt and every other country, and time will prove me right.

    [email protected]

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