by Alan Simons
I’ve always been fascinated, well perhaps I’m exaggerating somewhat, by the words purportedly coming out of the pathetic mouth of King Mahmoud Abbas of the West Bank. This week was no exception. I quote: “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,” Abbas said following a meeting with interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour in Cairo.
My response, as one can imagine, was one of dismay and shock. I was heartbroken. Where will all the thousands of Israelis go for hospital treatment? What will happen to Israeli IT start-ups that rely heavily on West Bank financial support? What will happen to all of Israel’s unemployed, who, every day, seek work permits in the West Bank? With Israel dependent on West Bank supplies and export opportunities, will this affect Israel’s GDP of US$252.8 billion? (The West Bank comes in at US$8.0 billion.) And then there’s the tourism industry. Where will all the Israelis go for the weekend?
Will King Abbas, as Lebanon did to the Palestinians in 2001, “strip Israelis living in the West Bank of the right to own property, or to pass on the property that they already owned to their children – and ban Israelis from working as doctors, lawyers, pharmacists or in 20 other professions?”
Will Abbas chase out all the Israelis living in the West Bank in the same manner as Kuwait and other Gulf States did to the Palestinians, some years ago?
And then there’s Jordan, who we hear currently segregate the Palestinians fleeing Syria by putting them into separate refugee camps, under stricter conditions and are banned from entering Jordanian cities.
Forget about Israel’s 1,617,000 Arab citizens – Christian, Muslim, Bedouin and Druze- many of whom have family ties in the West Bank. King Abbas has obviously lumped them in with the rest of us poor sods!
But, take heart, as Gill Hoffman wrote yesterday in The Jerusalem Post.
An Israeli flag will soon fly in Ramallah for the first time in many years when the Knesset’s Caucus on Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict visits the Palestinian parliament, a representative of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday.
Muhammad Madani, a former Palestinian parliament member whom Abbas appointed to head a new Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, made the promise at a meeting the caucus held with 30 MKs at the Knesset, during which the Palestinian and Israeli flags stood side by side.
“It is logical that since you put up a Palestinian flag when we came here that when you come to our parliament, there will be an Israeli flag,” Madani told the MKs in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post during the meeting.
How utterly reassuring.
Mahmoud Abbas, I quote Benjamin Franklin. “Don’t throw stones at your neighbours, if your own windows are glass[es].”
(Photo credit: Mahmoud Abbas – Israellycool.com)