Here comes the pressure

Will our prime minister be able to withstand the coming pressure to make territorial concessions?

Bibi netanyahu (photo credit: JPost Staff)
Bibi netanyahu
(photo credit: JPost Staff)
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.
And even 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.”
But 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.
AS 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 Palestinians.
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 Assad.
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 fail.
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 Israel/Palestinian infatuation.
The writer is a media expert, freelance journalist, and host of Reality Bytes Radio on