April 26, 2014
Just been watching Hanan Ashrawi, in an interview with the BBC. She strongly supports the new reconciliatory accords between the 2 Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, and condemns Israeli PM’s abandonment of the current peace talks, as long as Fatah is in talks with a terrorist organisation.
You’ve been seeing Hanan’s face over the years in the context of the peace negotiations with Israel. I haven’t agreed with her for so many reasons, but there’s a new reason. You may have noticed my increasing mistrust of the Left, both here and abroad.
The BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel has increased my concern – and has identified more clearly a) who the opponents are, and b) what’s happening to this World. Of course, not all academics are from the Left, but if an academic has an opinion about the Middle East, it’s become pretty easy to know their views, even before they utter ‘poor Palestinian refugees’.
Hanan is an academic; obviously an intelligent intellectual. But she has NO idea about reality. She is totally unaware that perhaps the ONLY decent place in the Middle East for Palestinians to live with a feeling of freedom and opportunity is Israel. If she ever mentions ‘the two-state solution’, it’s because she has at least woken up to the fact that Israel is here to stay.
But, 500 years after the peace treaty is signed and peace reigns, she will still be among those saying some of the most shallow and spiteful things about here neighbours, those Israelis. She’ll be worse than I, when I make jokes about the French.
So, the Fatah leader says that a new unity government with militant Hamas group would recognise Israel and renounce violence. A Hamas spokesman said the group “will not give any cover for any negotiations with the enemy”.
If I have changed over the 40 years I’ve been coming to Israel and 30 since I have lived here, it’s not the striving for peace, it’s the gradual realisation that the Palestinians’ education of hatred towards Israel/Jews will never change. I KNOW Israel’s feelings and policies towards the 2-state solution. Yes, the 1-state faction is growing in popularity, because 66 years of neighbours’ hate will do that.
But, if peace were somehow miraculously declared today, the majority of Israelis would not only agree and accept the decision, they would quite easily learn to live with it. The Palestinian issue is no longer the #1 concern of most Israelis. In fact, I dare to say that we have got used to them, whichever side of the Green Line they happen to be.
But a big change in my thinking is the growing awareness of the anti-Israel lobby, led by anti-Semitism (in many cases, latently), but closely followed by ignorance, blindness, bloody-mindedness and just plain ‘followers of stupid political fashion’. The linking of Israel to apartheid is plain stupidity, like linking Jayne Mansfield to Silicone Valley. (Hey, I just thought of that one!).
Now – a few reminders of a decent country…Friday at Nahlat arts & crafts market, and then a quick stop at the Carmel food market, both in Tel Aviv.
And the following is a ‘luckily-snapped’ image of Hanan Ashrawi, jogging along the Tel Aviv promenade. Who says Israel’s not a great place to be, whoever you are!!