At UN, Abbas Holds a Mirror to Israeli Society

This is a moment of truth for Israel; the enemy is at the gate and the Jewish people, both left and right, must prevent a disaster.

Saja Abu Fanni
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President Mahmoud Abbas, of Palestine, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, Fri., Sept. 26, 2014.
President Mahmoud Abbas, of Palestine, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, Fri., Sept. 26, 2014.Credit: AP
Saja Abu Fanni
Unknown

I ran amok, trying to take shelter from the earthquake caused by the speech given by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. What did Abbas, known for his impulsiveness and extremism, do to set Israelis both left and right against the Palestinians?

I read between the lines of the speech, looked under the words, went over the sentences and didn’t find the bomb in question. Only afterward did it hit me: The reason the Israelis were so angry is because the man put a mirror in front of them. Please don’t be alarmed, this is just the familiar mirror syndrome; you consider yourself a movie idol along the lines of Marlon Brando, but when you stand in front of the mirror you want to flee from the unappealing figure in front of you, especially if you’re past the age of 67 and still behaving like a brat.

Indeed, Abbas is a cruel man. Rather than stroke the ego, get rid of the wrinkles and hide the paunch, he came and – slap! – told the Israelis that there had been war crimes in Gaza. And the face of Israeli society looks out from the mirror and shouts like a robbed Cossack: Please, Abbas, break the mirror, let us sleep in peace without the tumult of whining and hair-pulling. After all, the country didn’t kill 2,200 Gazans so that you should remind us of it a month later. It’s over and done with. What happened in 1948 is over and done with, Operation Pillar of Defense is over and done with, so why should Protective Edge be any different? In Arabic they also say illy faat maat – what’s past is dead.

The funny thing was the response of the Americans, who called it a provocative speech. This is understandable, because it definitely was a provocative speech. Secretary of State John Kerry is quite wet for all that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been spitting on him, but he insists it’s just rain. Comes the cruel Abbas and audaciously reminds the world that Israel violated an agreement with the United States regarding the release of prisoners. Really, Abbas, that’s hitting below the belt and you’re going to pay dearly for it.

If you examine Abbas’ words, it’s hard to find a single thing that isn’t true. What’s wrong with saying, “We won’t let the criminals evade punishment?” After all, Israel should also demand this. He said he is not prepared to return to the previous style of negotiations. All peace-loving people must support this position. He said he doesn’t want his people to be held hostage to Israel’s security conditions; after all, the whole settlement disaster began as “security demands.” And it’s important to take this opportunity to explain that within Israel, the security excuse is the source of all discrimination against Arab academics.

Moreover, what’s wrong with saying that he isn’t prepared for Israel to be above international law? After all, the whole world stood as one against Iraq when it occupied Kuwait, while Israel has been holding an entire nation under occupation for 48 years and the world carries on as usual.

This is a moment of truth for Israel; the enemy is at the gate and the Jewish people, both left and right, must prevent a disaster. A.B. Yehoshua, the lily-white dove, preceded the speech with a divine prophecy, telling Palestinians that they “should have agreed to Netanyahu’s baseless and meaningless demand and recognized Israel as the Jewish nation state – a recognition that has no practical implications – and stopped their incessant demand for the right of return, which they will never be able to realize. They should have agreed to territorial swaps, primarily in the area of Gush Etzion, and even agreed that a small minority of Jews would become citizens of the Palestinian state.”

Along with Yehoshua’s advice, which exudes peace, may I suggest that to head the appointed committee that will manage the affairs of the future Palestinian state they appoint an Israeli of Middle Eastern origin who understands the local language.

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