Monday, April 30, 2018

Israel, and Palestinian Complaining

Leaders if American Jewish organizations literally fell off their chairs when they heard what Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told them in New York on March 27.

If the message was news to them, this also means that they have not been paying very close attention. This new news had een reported on this blog, and on the Israeli site Debkafile, many months ago. If they had been better informed they would not have hurt themselves by falling off their chairs.

In any event, Axios reported yesterday:

In a closed-door meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York on March 27th, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) gave harsh criticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), according to an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in New York, as well three sources — Israeli and American — who were briefed about the meeting.

The bottom line of the crown prince's criticism: Palestinian leadership needs to finally take the proposals it gets from the U.S. or stop complaining.

According to my sources, the Saudi Crown Prince told the Jewish leaders:

"In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given. It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining."

And there’s more:

MBS also made two other points on the Palestinian issue during the meeting:

1.      He made clear the Palestinian issue was not a top priority for the Saudi government or Saudi public opinion. MBS said Saudi Arabia "has much more urgent and important issues to deal with" like confronting Iran's influence in the region.
2.    Regardless of all his criticism of the Palestinian leadership, MBS also made clear that in order for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel there will have to be significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Fair enough, MBS did not repudiate the Palestinians completely, but he made clear his exasperation with them.

In the meantime American foreign policy seems to getting its bearings in the region. Secretary of State Pompeo’s visit to the region led to a Saudi attack on Houthi rebels—killing some of their leaders—and an Israeli missile strike on an Iranian base in Syria. One must conclude that the Tillerson/McMaster team was incompetent… at defending American interests in the region. This might, for all I know, be the reason why they lost their jobs.

Anyway, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has labelled the Palestinian Authority a bunch of whiners. Apparently, Secretary Pompeo holds a similar view. In his recent visit to the region he did not deign to treat Mahmoud Abbas and Co. as players, if I might use the term. He did not meet with them and did not even ask for a meeting. With this gesture he declared the end to the moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians.

If the Palestinians where not whining, the New York Times was doing their whining for them. What would they do without the New York Times?

I imagine that this story is intended as news analysis:

TEL AVIV, Israel — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Israel Sunday in the midst of the worst crisis in relations between Israelis and Palestinians in years, but he did not meet a single Palestinian representative and mentioned them publicly once.

For decades, American diplomats saw themselves as brokers between the two sides, and secretaries of state typically met Palestinian representatives on regional tours like this one. When relations between the two sides deteriorated, the United States sought to bridge the divide.

No more.

No one at the State Department called Palestinian leaders to ask for a get-together with Mr. Pompeo, according to Palestinian officials. And that may be because the Americans knew the answer they would have gotten: No.

Note how the authors construct the narrative to make appear that the Palestinians have some face. They were not shunted to the side. They would never have agreed to be party to any negotiation.

The Times seems to respect the Palestinian outrage, outrage that, incidentally, has destroyed the lives of generations of Palestinians in a futile attempt to destroy Israel:

Infuriated by President Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, paving the way for the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested holy city, Palestinian leaders have cut off political contacts with the Trump administration. They say the White House can no longer be considered an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“There’s nothing to discuss,” said Xavier Abu Eid, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department.

Of course, this is impotent rage. If, as reported here, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, along with Crown Prince of the Emirates, along with the president of Egypt told the Palestinian leader to make a deal, his rage is merely a cover up for his ignominious defeat.

Of course, the Times is having none of it. By their analysis the futile and suicidal protests on the border of Israel and Gaza has:

… generated global sympathy for the Palestinian cause….

Which global sympathy would that be? Does the New York Times newsroom take itself to be the “globe?”

The world is transfixed by the events on the Korean peninsula. The Arab world, especially the Sunni Arab world, has tired of Palestinian terrorism, not only because it sees many advantages to be gained by allying itself with Israel, but also because the Palestinian authority, a laboratory for Islamist terrorism, has tarnished the reputations of Arab Muslims around the world.

Pompeo’s task was to unite the region in the struggle against Iran. He did not go there to assuage the hurt feelings of the crybaby Palestinians.


Sam L. said...

As the old saying goes, the Palis have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They have rejected every one.

The NYT: Are you saying the NYT is anti-Israel?? I have the distinct impression that it is.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Point well taken, so I changed the punctuation. I had thought that I could avoid the confusion by not saying: Israeli and Palestinian complaining. In that case, equivalent to the comma placement, the complaining would be shared.