In a controversial speech hosted by the virulently anti-Israel Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn on January 15 in the British Parliament, the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.K. Manuel Hassassian announced that it was his personal belief that Israel refuses peace, and “nurtures on conflict.”
But that was just the run-of-the-mill Palestinian party line. was not the zinger that day.
Here’s the zinger:
According to the website The Commentator—conceived by one time foreign correspondent for The Times in Moscow Robin Shepherd and pro-Palestinian activist Raheem Kassam in 2010—the Ambassador also remarked:
“We, the Palestinians, the most highly educated and intellectual in the Middle East, are still struggling for the basic right of self-determination… You know I’m reaching the conclusion that the Jews are the children of God, the only children of God and the Promised Land is being paid by God! I have started to believe this because nobody is stopping Israel building its messianic dream of Eretz Israel to the point I believe that maybe God is on their side. Maybe God is partial on this issue.”
And then as the logical conclusion of the above, The Commentator reported that “Manuel Hassassian reportedly told an audience of around 100 people that ‘there is no two state solution.’”
The event was organized by the very controversial Palestine Solidarity Campaign and hosted Labor’s Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter, as well as Lib Dem MP and former government minister Sarah Teather.
Of course, given the organizers and the source, this was all said in bitter, bitter irony (and, I must add, for an angry enemy, the ambassador has been gifted with a fabulous sense of humor, dark or otherwise).
So much so, that the event took place, it was photographed and reported – and no one, to the best of my understanding, has made a big deal out of it. The Jerusalem Post reported the story dutifully, a couple Gulf sources did as well, and several days later, JTA reported it – but it certainly did not get any big, newsy, flashy reaction, certainly not from the good folks in Ramallah and Gaza. We got to it a week late—we plead Elections, of course—all of which means that no one is really interested.
But they should be, because this is an emerging trend, folks, and a potentially dangerous one at that. Just the other day, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned that the chance of a two-state solution in the Middle East peace process is “slipping away.” Of course, he added that “the clock is ticking, with potentially disastrous consequences for the peace process.”
You noticed, he did not say “potential disaster for peace,” only for the “peace process.”
Even he doesn’t really believe there’s going to be peace any time soon – but it somehow makes him feel calmer when Israelis and Palestinians are sitting together talking about getting peace, then breaking the talks because they have nothing meaningful to say on this matter – and by meaningful I mean something the other side agrees with.
According to The Commentator, Hassassian questioned Israel’s future by remarking on the growing Muslim population in the world, as well as America’s waning support for the Jewish state:
“Israel will never continue to exist as a pariah state. Israel could never continue to fight wars against the Palestinians, against the Arabs and the Muslims. The United States is not going to be Israel’s strategic ally for time immemorial. And today we have 1.5 billion Muslims. In 20 years we will have 2 billion. And those 2 billion, forget about politics, from a religious perspective will not allow Israel to continue desecrating their religious rights (in Jerusalem). And then what?”
OK, that’s not news. If those billions of Muslims either had the inclination—meaning they would stop murdering each other long enough to even contemplate the plight of a couple million Suni Palestinians—or the means, they would have done something about it.
I do note a similar line of thinking between Minister Hague and Ambassador Hassassian: they both would like the U.S. president to drop everything and ride Israel hard all the way to ridding the world of its pesky 500 thousand settlers:
Hague said on Wednesday that he would be telling the new Obama Administration that “this should be the highest priority for US foreign policy, even given all the other threats we face.”
That’s because, according to Hague, the situation requires the United States to take the lead because of its unique ability to influence the Israelis. “If we don’t make progress in the coming year,” Hague said, “people will be increasingly convinced that a two-state solution is impossible.”
Of course, Hassassain claimed that Israel was the reason for the failure of peace to be reached,–rather than blaming the boldfaced intransigence of the Palestinian Authority towards peace negotiations, the outright violation of the Oslo accords by applying unilaterally for statehood at the UN, or—my personal favorite—the continued terrorist activities of Hamas and Fatah.
Finally, recalling the 2002 and 2007 Arab Peace Initiative, and said that had Israel accepted that open hand of peace, “the flag of Israel would have been hoisted in Mecca, in Iran, in Tehran! If they had accepted. But Israel does not want peace. Israel nurtures on conflict, and the Zionist Ideology is to have the entire West Bank, the entire Palestine.”
Just to remind you, Arab Peace Initiative, initiated by the Saudis, offered normalizing relations between the entire Arab world and Israel, in exchange for a complete withdrawal from the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and a return of any Palestinian refugees “wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors.”
In other words, if only Israel agreed to stop being Israel, it could enjoy the love and acceptance known only by, say, the survivors of Auschwitz…
Let’s all wait and see what President Obama has to say about all this.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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