How Not to Treat an Ally
An Elusive Peace
Good Morning, Breakfastpoppers. Today is Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Our dear friend, Wasp Tevya, is with me at the breakfast table. He is understandably upset with Secretary of State John Kerry's assertion that our ally Israel could end up as an "Apartheid" state if they didn't come to terms with the Palestinians. Tevya has asked us to join him for breakfast. He brought over dozens of breakfast pastries for our enjoyment. We hope to see you soon.
Under the Bus!
Hello, my human family. Thank you for joining me this morning. Secretary of State John Kerry deliberately threw your ally under the bus when he said that Israel risked becoming an "apartheid" state if they didn't come to terms with the Palestinians. He may have been channeling his boss, President Obama, when he made this offensive remark. President Obama's treatment of Israel and disdain for Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is well documented. Kerry also implied that if there were a change of government on both sides, peace might prevail. What Kerry fails to recognize is the irrefutable fact that Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a "Jewish State" an assertion reinforced by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Empty Table, Empty Talks
I asked you to join me this morning because I have a story to tell you that helps understand why peace in the Middle East is impossible. Last month 27 Palestinian students visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps with Professor Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi. One of the 27 students came forward to explain the trip and its aftermath after the experience was loudly condemned and ridiculed by the Palestinian community. The doctoral candidate is Zeina M. Barakat. The reaction to the visit was so horrifying that only a couple of the students who travelled to the death camp came to Professor Dajani's defense.
The program of study that led to this trip was a joint effort on the part of Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. A Palestinian civil society group founded by the Professor called "al Wasatia" was also part of the program. It is interesting to note that "al wasatia" means "moderation" in Arabic.
The group made the trip to break down the barriers of ignorance and misunderstanding in the minds and hearts of the Palestinian community. Professor Dajani rightly believes that learning about the Holocaust broadens understanding. He wanted his students to walk in the shoes of those who died or survived a human tragedy that defies comprehension.
Upon the group's return they were besieged with accusations that they had "sold out to the Jews" by visiting Auschwitz. Ms. Barakat was born in Jerusalem. She says that the Arab culture ignores the Holocaust. Books on the subject were not available when she studied there. This leads me, an ordinary bug, to the real heart of the problem between Israel and the Palestinians. Although their leaders speak about a peaceful solution, they feel quite differently in their hearts. There will never be peace until Ignorance and prejudice are defeated. This amazing group of brave Palestinian students tried to break down the barriers of hatred and distrust by understanding what it was like to walk in another man's shoes. Perhaps, one day, others will want to do the same. Only then will peace have a chance.
A fitting way to close this hub is with the words of Golda Meir. "One cannot and must not erase the past merely because it does not fit the present." Perhaps Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama should heed her words. I humbly suggest that the Palestinians do the same.
Dear God, you made so many politicians
It's no shame to be a politician
But it's no great honor either!