Avigdor Lieberman, new Israeli foreign minister and new demon of the MSM, has made his maiden speech. Not surprisingly, the reports highlighted negative reactions to it. The assembled diplomats were described as “cringing” and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as “grimacing” through his talk.
Responding to Lieberman’s speech, Knesset Member Afu Aghbaria of the opposition Hadash Party said: “The ugliness of the Netanyahu-Lieberman-Barak [government] has been unmasked. I urge the international community to place it under a diplomatic embargo, just like they did to Austria under Jörg Haider.”
Now why does Lieberman say some Israeli Arabs have a problem with loyalty to the state?
On Israel’s relations with Egypt, Lieberman said: “Egypt is an important element in the Arab world. … I will certainly be happy to visit Egypt, but I’ll also be happy to see Egypt’s leaders visit here, including the Egyptian foreign minister. I respect others and I want them to respect us; I’m in favor of the principle of reciprocity.”
Lieberman was referring to the fact that although Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979 stipulating full diplomatic relations, Egyptian leaders do not come to Israel whereas Israeli officials shuttle to Cairo often. Since becoming Egypt’s president in 1981, Hosni Mubarak has come to Israel once — to attend former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral. You’re not supposed to mention this lack of reciprocity. Lieberman broke protocol by doing so.
On Israeli-Palestinian relations, Lieberman said Israel would not be obligated by the 2007 Annapolis conference, which neither the government nor the Knesset had ratified, but by the 2003 road map, which Israel did ratify and which calls explicitly for a Palestinian state. Before getting to that point, though, both sides are supposed to fulfill certain conditions. Israel is supposed to stop building settlements, and the Palestinians are supposed to end terrorism and incitement to terrorism. Or as Lieberman put it: “We will never agree to jump over all the clauses and go to the last one.” That means that terrorism would have to stop before the Palestinians get their state. Makes your blood boil!
Meanwhile, as the MSM cringes and wrings its hands over the fate of peace, some other things have been happening that, if fairness and accuracy counted for anything, would put the onus on the other side instead of on Lieberman and Israel. This week, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir attended the Arab summit conference in Doha, Qatar, and by all accounts was warmly received. The trouble is that early in March the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Bashir’s arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from the genocidal atrocities in Darfur.
The Washington Post did note in an editorial that, while the conference communiqué called on “‘the international community to prosecute those responsible’ for alleged ‘war crimes’ committed by Israel in its recent offensive in Gaza,” it also stated, “We stress our solidarity with Sudan and our rejection of the [ICC’s] decision.”
Also in attendance was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He, too, rapped the Gaza offensive as a “criminal war” against “helpless civilians” and called Israel’s security fence a “racist wall.” He also came out just as strongly in favor of the alleged genocidist, stating, “We must also take a decisive stance of solidarity alongside fraternal Sudan and President Omar al-Bashir.”
“Peace in Doubt as PA Pres Backs Sudanese Despot.” Don’t bother Googling that one, I made it up.
If anyone wanted to get on Abbas’s case instead of Lieberman’s, they could also ask why he doesn’t do a better job preparing his Palestinian Authority for the envisaged peace with Israel. Indeed, why doesn’t he do so at all? A poll conducted last month by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) found, along with a marked rise in Hamas’s popularity over Fatah since the Gaza war, that “54% of the Palestinians support … armed attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel.”
But, unlike Abbas’s words in Doha that were at least picked up by the Washington Post and a few others, this poll was mentioned almost nowhere except in a few pro-Israeli blogs. It wouldn’t fit the MSM’s beloved script of Israeli “hardliners” eager to put peace on ice.
Also reported this week: “The Palestinian Authority has issued yet another warning to Palestinians against selling their homes or properties to Jews, saying those who violate the order would be accused of ‘high treason’ — a charge that carries the death penalty.” The warning was issued by Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, chief Islamic judge of the PA, reacting to reports that U.S. Jewish businessmen had bought land from Palestinians on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
As Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh notes, “Scores of Palestinians have been murdered over the past three decades for allegedly selling their property to Jews or for acting as intermediaries in real estate deeds involving Jews.” Sheikh Tamimi also said that, “The Jews have no rights in Jerusalem” and that under Islam it’s a “grave sin” to sell houses and land to them. In such a climate, the news Thursday afternoon that a 16-year-old Israeli boy was axed to death in a Palestinian terror attack was, as always, shocking but not surprising. And, as always, all this will more or less fall under the radar as the MSM continues its Lieberman and Netanyahu hate-fest.
To understand the reality of the Israeli-Arab/Muslim conflict, take the picture produced by the mainstream media and turn it 180 degrees.