Going to China for peace?

Chinese officials have suggested that since Israeli and Palestinian leaders were in China last week, it’s a great time for walking that extra mile.

May 11, 2013 22:41
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a gala dinner in Shanghai , May 6

Netanyahu in China 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Itlab al-’ilm hatta fi-al-Sin” is an Arabic proverb that means – “Go even to China for the sake of knowledge.” This Arabic saying recalls the English “walk the extra mile for peace.”

Chinese officials have suggested that since Israeli and Palestinian leaders were in China last week, it’s a great time for walking that extra mile. The only problem is that the suggestion defies common sense, because PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas has shown that he, like his idol, the late and unlamented Yasser Arafat, is not ready for peace.

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Abbas cut off direct talks with Israel four years ago and then moved to get the United Nations to recognize “Palestine” as a UN member state – a direct contravention of PLO-Israeli treaties which left the matter to bilateral Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Abbas is actually not even head of the Palestinian Authority, because his legal term of office expired a few years ago.

“Never mind that small point,” say the naïve believers in Abbas-PLO moderation, “Abbas is really a moderate democrat.”

Actually, Abbas has spent much of his time not building democracy or making peace, but instead trying to mend bridges with Hamas, the Islamic terror group that developed suicide bombers and rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

Last month, Abbas also pushed out PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, seen by many Western officials as the one serious anti-corruption force inside the PLO. Abbas, like most of the veterans of the Fatah organization, is very corrupt. Key Fatah insiders like Abbas, Jibril Rajoub, Ahmed Qurei, etc., hold all kinds of economic monopolies by force of “law.”

Abbas, who is still considered a “moderate” by the naïve and uninformed, has consistently pushed for the delegitimization of Israel through international sanctions and boycotts – all violations of Israeli-PLO treaties and US and international law.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in China this week, and if he sees Abbas along the way, that’s fine. They can even share a friendly snack together. Chinese call that “dim sum.” But to hope that somehow dim sum can bring peace is just dim.

And speaking dim, the Obama administration is still touting China and Russia as forces for peace in helping to solve Syria’s civil war, Iran’s nuclear program and North Korea’s atomic extortions. Just listen to some of the recent speeches of Secretary of State John Kerry.

Ever since Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton demonstrated how to misspell and mistranslate “restart” in Russian, we have learned that Obama’s foreign policy basically fits Einstein’s definition of insanity: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

China and Russia – the neo-Communist states – have been the enablers of the Syrian dictatorship, the Iranian ayatollahs and the North Korean maniacs (and many other monstrosities around the globe).

So, it is a pleasant thought to seek knowledge and peace, even in China, but reality and reality checks begin at home, with common sense. Sadly, common sense is not necessarily a common commodity among our governing elites.

The writer is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He was strategic affairs adviser in the Ministry of Public Security, and he will be a visiting professor at University of California, Irvine.

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