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Monday, January 22, 2007

Peres or Peretz?

Two Israeli politicians who may confuse some non-Israelis as to their identity are Shimon Peres and Amir Comrade Peretz.

Shimon Peres, whom many overseas regard as an 'elder statesman' is a political hack who has never succeeded in winning a national election in Israel. At one time, he was known to the Israeli right as "Israel's first astronaut" because "his feet are never on the ground," (i.e. he has no grounding in reality). Slimy Shimon lost that title when Israel's real first astronaut - a hero pilot named Ilan Ramon - was killed on the space shuttle Columbia a few years ago. Shimon is one of the three people in Israel who still believe that the Oslo Accords - which he fathered - were a good idea.

Amir Comrade Peretz is a trade unionist, who suddenly believes that he has become an expert in defense and foreign policy matters. Peretz is the former head of the Histadrut, Israel's 'general labor federation.' For those who have never experienced a Histadrut 'general' strike detaining them for hours in a terminal at Ben Gurion Airport, the Histadrut is like the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters and the Mafia, all rolled into one. Like Peres, Peretz got his start in the Labor party, but unlike Peres, he is still there and is the party's 'leader,' at least until the party elections in May. Peretz is currently competing with Peres to see who can make the stupidest statement at the Herzliya Conference, the country's premier political-economic meeting, which is currently taking place. Today, Peres told the Herzliya Conference:
"I have been through 60 years of Israeli history, and I'm telling you - there have been harder days. Israel will not fall - Ahmadinejad will fall."
And the 'basis' for this statement?
"This is not 1938. It's not the way it was then. We will not sit on the sidelines, but we also do not need to jump."
This from the man who once said, "I have become totally tired of history, because I feel history is a long misunderstanding." Now, he's selling himself as a history expert.

Peres also said
I am grateful to Nasrallah and to Ahmadinejad. Nasrallah said that the people of Israel know how to learn a lesson and draw lessons from the events they go through, and I am grateful to Ahmadinejad for doing a great job. Without him the world would not unite in an anti-Persian policy."
Peres is conveniently ignoring that two countries with vetoes in the Security Council - Russia and China - will not go along with any meaningful sanctions against Iran. Some unity!

But Peretz outdid even Peres. Peretz told the Herzliya Conference that he views any 'Palestinian' elements 'recognizing' the State of Israel as a partner for negotiations "even if it is Hamas." He had lots more to say about the 'Palestinians':
"We have to focus on the Palestinian arena. We must not freeze while Hamas is growing stronger. We must not reach a situation of the military being pulled into Gaza without reaching a diplomatic solution.

The realignment plan is gone and we must form a new diplomatic plan. The Labor Party will submit a new plan to the government, combining the Road Map and the Saudi initiative. It is important for Arab countries to take part in implementing the plan.

Israel is not the only one facing the growing risks. So are the moderate regimes in the Arab world. On the one hand, we must prepare the IDF and the defense establishment to deal with military threats while understanding the lessons of the Lebanon war. On the other hand, we must try to utilize the opportunity to the fullest. We must strengthen the moderate elements and prevent deterioration in the different arenas.
Somehow, the 'moderate' Arab states don't see accepting Israel - let alone allying themselves with it - as part of the game plan. Peretz also resorted to hyperbole, claiming that Israel's gestures to the 'Palestinians' are meaningless in the face of the (mostly verbal) abuse inflicted by a 'settler' on her neighbors in Hebron, referring to footage of such abuse recently aired on television.

At least there was one voice of sanity in Herzliya today.
Dr. Dan Schueftan, deputy director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, said a document recently released by Israeli- Arab leaders called for "nothing short of the destruction of Jewish national state."

Schueftan said the consensus position of Israeli -Arabs, as reflected in the document "The future vision of Palestinian Arabs in Israel,' was that Israel should be "replaced with a bi-national state, alongside a mechanism to turn it into an Arab state, adding: "Otherwise, we (Israelis) are automatically not legitimate (in their eyes)." The document was published by the Higher Monitoring Committee for the Arab Population in Israel, a forum of Israeli-Arab leaders.

Schueftan said: "The signal is that even if inequality is bridged, it won't solve the problem. The lack of legitimacy of the national Jewish state is the source of the problem."

The recent Lebanon war also showed that a majority of Israeli-Arabs thought "every enemy of State of Israel should at least be understood," Schueftan emphasized. He added that the document released by the Higher Monitoring Committee said "the Jews rose as a colonialist phenomenon… who expelled… butchered… and the Palestinians have only fought for peace."

"This is a reality for which there is no fix. The Palestinian national minority in Israel has a consensus view demanding recognition by the Jews of their exclusive guilt and their own lack of legitimacy, as well as an agreement to destroy the national Jewish project," Schueftan argued . He said that Israeli-Arab leaders who voiced such views were accurately representing the views of the wider Arab public.

"There are problems, and it won't be OK ," Schueftan said, adding: "It's not leading to violent confrontation… But in the national field, the issue getting more severe… The Arabs don't plan to integrate themselves into the Jewish national state. The Jews won't commit national suicide. Both will continue to stick to the very sad status quo."
And whatever may be said about 'Israeli-Arabs' is all the more true of the 'Palestinians.' Schueftan's study should be required reading for all my well-intentioned friends who think that the Arab-Israeli conflict is 'solveable.'


At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very easy to tell the two apart. Peres reminds you of Willie Mays in 1973 pathetically holding on long past his usefulness(if he ever had any). Peres is senile

Comrade Peretz as you call him actually LOOKS LIKE STALIN. Peretz is not senile..just sounds like he is


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