Yesterday it was easy to allow myself a touch of flippancy in writing my post. Perhaps a way of mocking occurrences; certainly a way for me to handle their insanity.
Today, there is only a slow, deep fury:
A “senior American official” here in Jerusalem — apparently the same one I cited yesterday as saying that both sides are ready to negotiate — is being quoted as also having said that “the US administration expects that neither side will take any measure to poison the atmosphere or derail the talks.”
All this talk by Clinton about how the US is extending the invitation for Netanyahu and Abbas to come to Washington to talk, “without preconditions,” was predictably just that: talk. Of course what the “official” is saying constitutes the imposition of “preconditions.”
And, I might add, while he speaks of “both sides,” it is Israel he is referring to. Why? Because it is only the PA that says, “If Israel does thus and such we’ll not be at the table.” Our eager prime minister, in contrast, declares, “I’ve been waiting for these talks to begin, this is great.” Period.
If I were in charge of our government’s response, I’d say something like this:
“I so want to start talks. But I want them to really succeed. And we all know, for them to succeed, the Palestinian people must be prepared for peace. But this hasn’t happened. To this very day, the young people in the PA schools are being taught that jihad is praiseworthy. We cannot come to the table until we have solid evidence that the PA textbooks are being republished with all of the incitement excised. Mr. Abbas needs to know: He can have incitement or negotiations, but not both.”
Then at a press conference I would provide samples — in the original Arabic, and translated to English — from textbooks produced and used by the Palestinian Authority. Samples such as these:
Reading and Texts, Grade 8, part 2, page 16:
“Your enemies seek life and you seek death…
“These drops of blood that flow from your bodies will be transformed into red fiery shooting stars that will come down on the heads of your enemies.”
From Our Beautiful Language, Grade 7, Part 1, p. 97. A section from a poem, called “The Martyr” that is to be studied:
“I shall carry my soul in my palm
“And toss it into the abyss of destruction
“…Hearing [weapons’] clash is pleasant to my ear
“And the flow of blood gladdens my soul.”
This material can be found at: http://www.impact-se.org/research/pa/index.html — the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.
Netanyahu may not raise this issue with Obama. More’s the pity.
But each of you can raise it with your elected representatives in Congress. Please share one or both of these poems with them, and implore them to do everything in their power to stop President Obama from leaning on Israel with regard to concessions so that PA president Abbas will come to the negotiating table. Explain that Abbas is not a legitimate partner for peace, and that it does Israel a severe injustice to apply pressure.
For your Congresspersons:
For your Senators:
If you really want to help, write letters to the editor and call in to talk shows as well. Expose the hypocrisy of the PA, via these poems, and the unfairness of putting pressure on Israel.
There is yet another source of fury that has been exposed. And in this case my anger is directed at my own government. According to an AP report carried by YNET:
“Israeli officials confirmed…that the government is in quiet talks with the United States in search of a ‘creative’ solution that will allow at least some limited construction to take place after Israel’s 10-month moratorium ends on Sept. 26.
“The officials said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is well aware of the high stakes ahead of the September 2 date marked for the launching of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
“‘Many options are being discussed. It’s not that simple,’ said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.”
“Allow at least some limited construction to take place…after the moratorium ends”? How shall I describe this? Disgusting? Shameful? We are going to take instruction from Obama’s government with regard to where we can build?
Precisely where is the quid pro quo here? What are we going to get for all of this “cooperation” and loss of integrity? More demands, more loss of control, is what we’ll get.
The PA has begun its counter-attack with regard to preconditions. Saeb Erekat is now charging that we have put out our own list of preconditions, demanding forces in the Jordan, a united Jerusalem, and recognition as a Jewish state.
I would like to clarify this, because he is misrepresenting. A precondition means, “I won’t talk to you unless…” The PA is saying they won’t meet with us unless we freeze construction in settlements. They won’t sit down at the table.
We have said nothing of the sort. For better or worse, we are saying, “Sure, we’ll sit down. No demands of you up front. And we can discuss everything. But please know that we have our positions on these issues — a united Jerusalem, etc. etc. Sitting down with you does not mean we agree to all your demands.”
Very clearly, the PA has staked out its positions: Eastern Jerusalem, everything over the Green Line, etc.
I share this rather hair-raising information from Z Street:
“Z STREET, a pro-Israel non-profit corporation, filed a lawsuit in federal court today charging that the IRS violated the organization’s First Amendment rights. The suit was filed after Z STREET was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration.
“‘…it is…a clear violation of the First Amendment for a government agency to penalize an organization because of its political position on Israel or anything else,’ said Z STREET president Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a former First Amendment lawyer.”