Monday, October 31, 2011

A Shiver Looking for a Spine to Run Up

What an unmitigated disaster this creature is:

"The Palestinian President, in a remarkable assessment delivered on Israeli TV, says the Arab world erred in rejecting the United Nations' 1947 plan to partition Palestine into a Palestinian and a Jewish state. The Palestinian and Arab refusal to accept a UN plan to partition the then British-controlled mandate of Palestine sparked widespread fighting, then Arab military intervention after Israel declared independence the following year. The Arabs lost the war. 'It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole', Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] told Channel 2 TV on Friday, in a rare interview to the Israeli media. 'But do they [the Israelis] punish us for this mistake 64 years?'" (It was our mistake, says Palestinian chief, Amy Teibal, AP/The Sun-Herald, 30/10/11)

Essentially, what he has said to Israeli viewers (assuming he even knows the relevant history) is this:

In 1947, the United Nations, then just a white man's club dominated by a superpower under the thumb of a powerful, fanatical and utterly ruthless domestic lobby, decided to gift over half of my Palestinian homeland, including Safad, the city of my birth, to a recently arrived but powerful, fanatical and utterly ruthless movement of European colons who behaved as if they owned the place but had purchased no more than 6% of it at the time, trashing in the process our right of national self-determination. All that and more, yet the Palestinian and Arab leaderships of the day were mistaken in not accepting such a state of affairs.

What next? The Balfour Declaration was actually a win-win for Jews and Arabs, but we missed that boat too? The Zionist project has actually been character-building for us?

No, not that, because the man is utterly spineless, as the late Edward Said recognised almost a decade ago:

"Perhaps the one thing that strikes me as the low point in Arab inability to grasp the dignity of the Palestinian cause is expressed by the current state of the Palestinian Authority. Abu Mazen, a subordinate figure with little political support among his own people, was picked for the job by Arafat, Israel, and the United States precisely because he has no constituency, because he is not an orator or a great organizer or anything really except a dutiful aide to Yasir Arafat, and because, I am afraid, they see in him a man who will do Israel's bidding. But how could even Abu Mazen stand there in Aqaba to pronounce words written for him, like a ventriloquist's puppet, by some State Department functionary, in which he commendably speaks about Jewish suffering but then amazingly says next to nothing about his own people's suffering at the hands of Israel? How could he accept so undignified and manipulated a role for himself, and how could he forget his self-dignity as the representative of a people that has been fighting heroically for its rights for over a century, just because the United States and Israel have told him he must? And when Israel simply says that there will be a 'provisional' Palestinian state, without any contrition for the horrendous amount of damage it has done, the uncountable war crimes, the sheer sadistic, systematic humiliation of every single Palestinian man, woman, and child, I must confess to a complete lack of understanding as to why a leader or representative of that long-suffering people doesn't so much as take note of it. Has he entirely lost his sense of dignity? Has he forgotten that he is not just an individual but also the bearer of his people's fate at an especially crucial moment? Is there anyone who was not bitterly disappointed at this total failure to rise to the occasion and stand with dignity - the dignity of his people's experience and cause - and testify to it with pride, without compromise, without ambiguity, without the half-embarrassed, half-apologetic tone that Palestinian leaders take when they are begging for a little kindness from some totally unworthy white father?" (Al-Ahram, 26/6/03)

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