Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paradigm shift

Akbar Ahmed is a Pakistani author who has done some good work in trying to bring different sects in the Middle East together, particularly Jews and Muslims.  He wrote a critical book entitled "The thistle and the drone" and published an article in the Jerusalem Post on May 26 entitled "Center vs. periphery: roots of terror."  In this he exposes his inherent bias in the following quote: "It is clear that if Israel continues to work within the current paradigm, the violence will continue."
This puts all the blame on Israel.  But, it is the Arab States and the Palestinians who are responsible for the current paradigm.  Their basic policy is to destroy the State of Israel and all of its citizens.  This is certainly true of Hamas, Hizbollah and much of the Arab world.  Israel is essentially defending itself against the current Arab paradigm of delegitimization and destruction.   When this paradigm is changed and there is some concrete overlap between the two positions, i.e. one side not wanting to eliminate the other, then there might be a chance for peace.
As examples of the current Arab paradigm, the so-called moderate PA Pres. Abbas of Fatah has appointed as his advisor a terrorist, Hussein Fayyad, who carried out the 1978 coastal road massacre that killed 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.  Fayyad was released in a  prisoner swap in 1985 and currently lives in Algiers.  Many place names of streets and schools in the PA are routinely named after "shahids," terrorist martyrs, by Abbas.  Also, the refusal of Abbas to even meet with PM Netanyahu to negotiate is evidence of his lack of moderation.  In the recent World Economic Forum held in Jordan, Abbas's spokesman Saeb Erekat said that his refusal to meet is not due to "precondtions" but to "obligations" that Israel must meet before Abbas can meet with Netanyahu.  This is another case of double-talk, any excuse to avoid giving Israel legitimacy.
US Secty. of State Kerry said at this Forum that the US will soon provide b$4 to the PA to help it overcome its economic problems and to help it meet its obligations so that Abbas can meet with Netanyahu.  This is the usual US approach of trying to buy Palestinian goodwill.  As a US taxpayer I object to my money being wasted on such constant failures.  Most of the money spent on the PA ends up in the pockets of the leaders of the PA, much as Arafat stole billions.  Also, the US supports the Palestinian people in a continuous welfare state thru payments to the UNRWA.  Now Kerry announced that soon the US will put forward a new initiative to bring the sides together, this after Obama and others have often stated that the conflict can only be resolved thru direct negotiations. When will they ever learn?

PS. An edited version of the first two paragraphs appeared as a letter in the J'sam Post on May 29, 2013.


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