Abraham, father of both Arabs and Jews, was famous for breaking idols, but some
of his leftist children are back praying to false gods, and even trying to raise
the political dead.
Here are some quick examples:
• Mahmoud Abbas told an
Israeli TV channel that he would not “go home” to Safed under a peace agreement,
and he would be satisfied with the West Bank and Gaza. This spurred the
almost-defunct Kadima Party to say that Abbas had given up haq al-awda (Arabic
for “the right of return”) and that “peace was at hand” if only Binyamin
Netanyahu and the Likud would get out of the way.
That was Friday night.
By Sunday morning, Abbas had retracted his statement in comments to the
Arabic-language media. You can read all about it in Saturday’s Al- Hayat or in
Sunday’s Al-Quds. What a surprise.
Has anybody noticed that Abbas has
been trying to violate all treaties with Israel by getting unilateral
recognition of a so-called “Palestine” at the United Nations? Let’s ignore for a
second that this has no practical meaning because Abbas does not rule Gaza and
cannot even dream of running a small neighborhood in Ramallah without Israel’s
Why? Well, Abbas is about as popular and powerful among West
Bank and Gaza Arabs as a soggy matchstick at a barbecue. As the Arabic saying
goes: Illi faat mat, what’s past is dead. For all intents and purposes, so is
• Israeli media pundits – particularly Haaretz and Voice of Israel
Radio – have tried to push or entice former prime minister Ehud Olmert, to run
again for prime minister as head of the Kadima Party and a left-center
One minor point on Olmert: When he left office, he had a popularity
rating of between zero and three percent, and that is approximately where Kadima
is today, too – it is expected to get zero to three seats in the coming
• Israeli media pundits, such as Amir Oren, distraught that
Olmert might not run, have tried to suggest that President Shimon Peres leave
the presidency and run as head of the Kadima party. Anyone who visits the
President’s Residence knows that Peres, who is nearly 90, also is not going
anywhere soon. Aside from the fact that Peres is the father of the calamitous
Oslo Accords, he also enjoys a uniquely inept record as a strategic planner,
also having opposed Israel’s destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor in
One more point on Peres: He was so popular the last time he ran
that he was defeated by Amir Peretz, a man of spastic gestures and spasmodic
oratory, who became famous for viewing an Israeli military exercise through
binoculars which still had their lens caps on.
Hours after that defeat
inside the Labor Party, Peres defected ingloriously to the Kadima party. Can you
picture Hillary Clinton losing a primary to Obama and then jumping parties to
become a Republican? Not in America, but in Israel, land of prophets and
miracles, almost anything can happen.
• Shelly Yacimovich is a real,
fresh voice on the Left.
She is a foe of corruption and a patriot who
does not believe that the root of Israel’s problems is Jews living in the West
Bank, and she opposes the “welfare for the rich” that has allowed a few Israeli
families to gain control of a large part of the Israeli economy.
Yacimovich has committed two terrible sins: She does not do business with
corrupt politicians, and she is a woman. The last time Israel’s Left treated its
own leader so badly was when Golda Meir was blamed for the 1973 war debacle
which was actually the fault of corrupt Israeli men, led by then-defense
minister Moshe Dayan (who was known for pilfering
Yacimovich, like Meir, is not part of the “old boy”
network. That is a blessing.
One is reminded of the prophecy of Deborah
the Judge who foresaw that Israel would be redeemed by a woman.
get back to those idols and false gods.
PLO leader Abbas – lovingly
nicknamed Abu Mazen by people who like him – is a man who loves creature
comforts, long vacations in the Persian Gulf and three-hour
Abbas is not Anwar Sadat or even King Hussein. He is no
revolutionary or visionary, but a well-trained propagandist who got his
“doctorate” at the KGB’s Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where he studied
the fine art of disinformation.
His doctorate was about Holocaust denial
and alleged Zionist collusion with the Nazis, making him a perfect Leftist
candidate for peace.
Abbas has consistently clung to the doctrines of his
predecessor, Yasser Arafat, and he has shown absolutely no will to change his
ways or to take risks. Right before he was kicked out of Gaza, he gave a speech
(which the Left never cites) where he called on Hamas to join him in aiming its
rifles at Israel. When one of his bodyguards was murdered a few years ago, Abbas
decided it was safer to bury his bodyguard quietly rather than try to pursue his
Such a man is never going to endanger himself or strike out on a
new path. Nor is Shimon Peres going to cast off his oxygen tanks and bankrupt
ideas. And you can bet that Ehud Olmert is not going to abandon his ways of
corruption and begin leading a frugal and modest life.
But such are the
fantasies of the Israeli Left. Everyone needs to dream.
The writer, an
expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our
Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by Threshold/Simon and
Schuster. A former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively at The New
York Times, Cox Newspapers and The Jerusalem Post, he was strategic affairs
adviser in the Ministry of Public Security and teaches at Bar-Ilan University.