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Take what's said in public as policy and go with it

Reader comment on item: When Arab Politicians' Shouts and Whispers Contradict
in response to reader comment: They understand us better than we understand them

Submitted by Jeff (United States), Dec 2, 2022 at 23:24

Ehud Olmert's impressions concerning President Dr. Abbas illustrate a basic problem. He's not alone.

"My impression is that he wants peace with Israel and accepts Israel as Israel defines itself."

--My impression is exactly the opposite.

"If you ask him to say that he sees Israel as a Jewish state, he will not say that."

--That's because he doesn't.

"But if you ask me whether in his soul he accepts Israel, as Israel defines itself, I think he does."

--I think he doesn't.

If President Dr. Abbas (currently enjoying the 17th year of his 4-year term) actually thought what Ehud Olmert thinks he does, the Oslo accords would have worked just fine and we would now have had decades of peace. No intifadas. No exploding buses. No two year-old girls stabbed in their beds in the night. The fact that the Oslo accords have been nothing more than a sad charade proves Ehud Olmert wrong. And that charade shows that Arab politicians' public words are reliable. And their nice-sounding private words are utterly unreliable and should be completely ignored.

A diplomatic answer to lovely words spoken only in private: Say it in public. In your country. In Arabic. Then maybe I'll believe you.

Why do they know us and we don't know them? Because they choose to know us and we choose not to know them. They choose to know us honestly without accusing themselves of racism, anything-aphobia, intolerance or the crime of being non-inclusive. We choose to pretend they're just like us. We can't imagine other cultures might actually be different, even imperfect, and with different priorities from ours. Just daring to imagine such a thing is proof of racism, phobia and intolerance.

We can read Sun Tzu, we just can't put his words into practice. They can. (Of course, even though putting Sun Tzu's words into practice would be racist and hateful if we did it, Sun Tzu himself was none of those things because he wasn't American.)


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