Weasel words, duplicitous declarations and erroneous assertions have precipitated like springtime showers these last few days.
Analysing the torrent of verbal statements made it is not difficult to sift fact from fiction, actuality from wishful thinking and honesty from deceitful deception. The main problem is that by the time the media have mangled the message and reinterpreted it, the listener or reader has become thoroughly confused.
What was actually meant? What was intended? How accurate is it and what effects will it have on the subject concerned?
In an effort to throw some light on some of these murky situations I will try to untangle and decode the mixed messages currently circulating.
Long anticipated but slow in coming has been the announcement that Israel and New Zealand have resumed full diplomatic relations. Everyone knew that sooner or later this would occur. The big question of course was and is at what price? Who would blink first and what will it take for this to happen?
Now we know – sort of.
According to the Israeli media an apology has been received for sponsoring the infamous UN Resolution 2334 and therefore both parties have now kissed and made up. Nothing of course could be further from the truth. In actual fact the New Zealand Prime Minister and Government have not apologised for peddling this fatally flawed resolution which unleashed a torrent of anti Israel delegitimisation in the corrupt corridors of the United Nations. Coming back to earth after the euphoric expressions of delight one discovers that in reality the actions of both parties smacks of usual diplomatic double speak.
“I regret the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2344 at the Security Council,” PM English wrote, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
A spokeswoman for PM English said New Zealand values its relationship with Israel.
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee said the letter did not amount to an apology.
“We’re not apologising for anything,”
“We’re simply saying that friends who are estranged can’t talk about these matters. So being able to discuss them is important.”
In other words and plain English (pun intended) it’s a “bob each way.”
There is NO apology. New Zealand still believes it did nothing wrong and continues to adhere to a totally warped and erroneous interpretation of Israel’s legal status in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan. They are only sorry that they got caught out stabbing Israel in the back at the UN. Meanwhile the Israeli Government has decided the non apology is really a change of heart and all is now perfectly OK. Welcome to the wondrous world of international diplomacy.
The second example of how words bear no relationship to action was provided by Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State. Making its way through Congress is the Taylor Force Act which would mandate that foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority cease if it continues to reward terrorists and their families with stipends and pension payments. In a transparent effort to derail this legislation the Secretary of State made an announcement that the PA had indeed agreed to stop such payments. This well-worn tactic has been employed on previous occasions whenever Congress or the Senate decided to pass resolutions censuring Abbas and his corrupt regime. The late unlamented arch terrorist, Arafat, was touted as a genuine “peace” partner by the State Department even long after it became evident that he was anything but a dove of peace.
On this occasion however Tillerson’s claim was shot down in flames not only by the evidence Israel provided but more importantly by the PA itself.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe stated that “there is no end to the payments” for Palestinian prisoners and families of convicted terrorists.
“We reject ending the subsidies to the prisoners and families of martyrs. We will not apologise for it.”
“The American and Israeli pressure is an aggression against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority.”
In the face of this declaration the Secretary of State has now done a “u” turn and maintains that discussions about the subject are still ongoing. Wishful thinking and naïve narishkeit (Yiddish for foolishness) continue to prevail in Washington.
The British have voted. In their collective wisdom they have decided to put a friend of Hamas and Hezbollah within striking distance of Downing Street. The Moslem Mayor of London admitted that the Labor Party has a serious problem with Israel and Jews which must be addressed. What will it take for British Jews to wake up to the fact that there are stormy times ahead for them?
More words of “peace” from those touted by the international community as our partners:
The Western Wall can only remain under Muslim sovereignty, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said during a Friday sermon.
“It is an Islamic endowment that absolutely cannot belong to non-Muslims,” Mahmoud Habash, Abbas’s religious affairs adviser said, referring to the wall. “It is our property and endowment. It is impossible to concede one millimeter of it.”
The message is crystal clear. Any hand over of Jerusalem or for that matter other parts of Judea and Samaria will result in ethnically cleansed Jewish territory. We ignore these words at our peril.
Concluding on a positive note the Knesset passed a ground-breaking piece of legislation. Israeli citizens aged eighty and upwards will now be able to go to the front of the queue in banks, supermarkets, post offices, cinemas, theaters, events, sports stadiums, galleries, museums, libraries, national gardens, nature reserves, and other places. This sort of enlightened social equality law fulfills an important precept in Judaism – respect for the elderly.
Actions certainly can speak louder than words.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.