My headline above is no mistake, it’s just my own take on the classic saying “empty vessels make the most noise”. What empty gestures am I talking about?
First, we have the Palestinian Museum of Art, History and Culture, which opened to great fanfare, and contains within it – nothing! It is an empty edifice, as empty as the Palestinians’ history itself.
This should come as no surprise since the Palestinians are a made-up “nation” with no history and which only engages in identity theft from the Jewish People. Israel Today has the story:
Now, as those who take historical accuracy seriously are aware, the people today known as “Palestinian” Arabs bear no distinction from the Arabs living in the nations roundabout, nations that only gained their current borders and distinct nationalities in the past century.
As such, there is no distinct “Palestinian” history or culture.
And, so, it was absolutely fitting that The Palestinian Museum of Art, History and Culture opened its doors with NO EXHIBITS.
The facility, which cost a whopping $24 million, was described as modern and luxurious by The New York Times.
They are all about show-boating and nothing about content or context:
The newspaper spoke to the museum’s chairman, Omar al-Qattan, who confirmed that he had opened the doors of an empty building. But, al-Qattan insisted, the move was of symbolic importance.
He and other Palestinian officials said they hope to at some point put actual exhibits in the museum.
Israellycool has some great (and snarky) ideas about what exhibits the Palestinians could show. Go take a look and have a bitter laugh.
The other empty gesture I am talking about was the Paris “peace conference” to which neither side to the conflict, Israel and the Palestinians, were invited!
Friday’s Paris peace parley ended with a call for another conference by the end of the year. The Palestinians are unhappy because all they got was a lousy communique — and a “non-binding” one at that.
The Washington Post noted the most relevant remarks:
Though the eventual statement was mild, the conference itself was condemned by Israeli government officials who say only direct negotiations with no preconditions — proposed repeatedly by Netanyahu but rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — will lead to peace.
Israel’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan, called it “borderline delusional” to think that diplomats from outside the region could meet in Paris and make a meaningful contribution to Middle East peace. The Foreign Ministry called it a missed opportunity and compared it to the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, which carved up the Middle East after the Ottoman Empire fell.
“History will record that the conference in Paris only hardened the Palestinian position and distanced the chances for peace,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.The meeting was embraced by Palestinians, who have sought to internationalize negotiations in part because they don’t trust the United States to act as a neutral mediator and consider the Europeans more sympathetic to their aspirations.
Herb Keinon at the JPost says Israel can sigh with relief at the “parve Paris comminque“:
Israel dodged a bullet on Friday when the much ballyhooed French Middle east summit concluded with a communique that did little more than pledge allegiance to a two-state solution.
Oh the fretting that went on before the event: That the conclusions would include a firm deadline for the talks between Israel and the Palestinians, that it would place all the onus of responsibility on Israel, that it would set new parameters for peacemaking.
And in the end – thanks largely to US efforts – the communique said the participants reaffirmed “their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Not exactly revolutionary stuff, that.
The communique also showed something else: Israeli-US ties remain strong, even amid continuous reports that President Barack Obama will use his last months in office to advance parameters of an agreement that may not be to Israel’s liking.
The communique that emerged Friday would not have been as neutral and bland as it was without US efforts to water down the language, and Israel was in close coordination with Washington over the last few weeks on this matter.
The Obama administration has not hidden its displeasure over the years with Israel’s policies regarding the diplomatic process. But it also understands – though this is less frequently stated or reported – that Israel is not solely responsible for the stalemate, and that the Palestinians also bear much of the responsibility.
This came out clearly in the communique. While a French explanatory note on Thursday reflected Paris’s thinking, that the two-state solution was under threat primarily because of the settlements, Friday’s communique added another reason: “continued acts of violence.”
So while the Paris conference wasn’t intended to be an empty gesture, the final result was exactly that. And yet, the peace plans don’t stop coming, as Ben Sales writes in the Times of Israel:
No less than four Israeli-Palestinian peace proposals have been put forward in recent weeks, spanning a range of countries, leaders and organizations.
- A conference of some two dozen countries in Paris on Friday reiterated the need for a two-state solution.
- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi reportedly has been pushing Netanyahu and Abbas to meet in Cairo.
- This week, the US-based Israel Policy Forum, a center-left pro-Israel group, presented two plans in tandem that are designed to lay the security groundwork for a peace treaty.
And despite their limitations, Netanyahu and Abbas have also said they’re game for talks. On Sunday, Netanyahu declared his commitment to a two-state solution and praised the Arab Peace Initiative. Last month, JTA reported that Abbas allegedly sent Netanyahu three separate negotiation proposals in recent years.
After analysing the various peace plans, Sales notes:
But the leaders’ declarations haven’t led to action. Abbas refuses to meet with Netanyahu absent prior Israeli commitments or concessions. He also lacks the support of his constituents. According to a September 2015 poll, two-thirds of Palestinians demanded Abbas’s resignation.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, refuses to participate in international peace conferences, demanding only direct talks. In addition, the pro-settler Jewish Home faction, as well as many in Netanyahu’s own Likud party, oppose Palestinian statehood.
If I may be permitted, I would like to suggest, not my own, but Dry Bones’ peace plan. It seems to be the most workable:
It really is that simple!