While last week’s elections were justifiably front-page news in the local press,
it’s important to remember that for the rest of the world, particularly here in
the Middle East, life continued as usual, with media reports still covering all
the other events and developing stories.
While relegated to the back
pages, the Syrian civil war continues to spiral out of control, with the current
death toll according to the United Nations exceeding 60,000, nearly half of whom
were civilians either caught in the crossfire between the regime’s forces and
the insurgents or simply massacred by one side or another.
closer to home there was yet another instance of anti-Semitic propaganda being
spewed – not by Hamas, but by our peace partner, the moderate, Fatah-affiliated
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. As reported by this newspaper,
last week Abbas was quoted as saying that “the Zionist movement had links with
the Nazis before World War II.”
These are not earth-shattering comments
from Abbas, a known Holocaust denier. In his 1984 book The Other Side: The
Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, based on his PhD thesis, Abbas
explains (in Arabic) that, “It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement,
however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains
will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order
to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism.”
what makes Abbas’ most recent comments most relevant at this juncture is the
fact that once Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu forms his coalition, regardless
of which combination of parties make up the new government, the rest of the
world, on cue, will ignore Abbas’ lies and incitement and obsessively once again
turn their attention to the Israeli/Arab conflict.
In fact, less than a
week after the elections, we see this phenomenon already taking shape.
REPORTED by this newspaper last Friday, at incoming US Secretary of State Sen.
John Kerry’s (D-Massachusetts) confirmation hearing a day earlier, Kerry said he
hoped the Israeli elections would help restart the peace process between
Israelis and Palestinians.
“So much of what we aspire to achieve and what
we need to do globally, what we need to do in the Maghreb and South Asia, South
Central Asia, throughout the Gulf, all of this is tied to what can or doesn’t
happen with respect to Israel-Palestine,” he said.
Really? So by Kerry’s
logic the Egyptian riots resulting in over 30 dead on Saturday following a court
verdict calling for the death penalty for those that started a deadly football
riot in 2012, along with the five Iraqi demonstrators killed by state troops in
Falluja on Friday, and the 35 people killed in an Islamic suicide attack and
other bombings in northern Iraq and Baghdad on Wednesday – and throw in the 20
police officers killed across Afghanistan since midday on Saturday by Taliban
insurgents – all of these incidents of Muslims/Arabs killing other Muslims/Arabs
must be a result of a lack of an agreement between Israel and the
But then again, it makes sense for Kerry to divert the
world’s attention toward Israel and away from Syria – let’s not forget his
misguided attempts at shuttle diplomacy trying to reason with the Butcher of
Homs, Hama and many other Syrian cities and provinces, President Bashar
According to The Wall Street Journal, following one such meeting
between Kerry and Assad in 2010, a statement was released to the press in which
Kerry stated: “President al- Assad and I had a very positive discussion on the
formidable challenges facing this region and we found agreement on a number of
ways in which both of us and other countries can contribute significantly to
changing the dynamics that exist today.”
Talk about a diplomacy
However, not all are asleep at the wheel as last week at a US
Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Kerry came under bipartisan pressure
on the question of the crisis in Syria, as a result of the mounting death tolls
and growing humanitarian emergency.
Without admitting failure, what
better way to deflect criticism than to talk to the press about how committed he
is to solving the century-old conflict between Israel and her neighbors in his
new role? So what if the Palestinian leader is a Holocaust denier who refuses to
recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, Kerry seems determined to
succeed where all others have failed.
TO HIS credit, Netanyahu, who
surely knows Abbas’s true sentiments (despite the fact that some of his policies
don’t always reflect that knowledge), told a delegation of visiting US
Congressman he is aware that instant solutions were not possible, despite the
latest “peace” buzz.
As a resident of Judea and Samaria, my hope is that
our prime minister, along with our newly elected representatives will withstand
the pressure on Israel to make territorial concessions which will surely be
applied by Kerry and many other international bodies, who not only ignore
Abbas’s incitement, but are failing to prevent the death and suffering of so
many other people around the world, simply because they are not part of their
The writer is a media expert, freelance
journalist, and host of Reality Bytes Radio on www.israelnationalradio.com.