December 5, 2012 | 11:30 am
Posted by Noga Gur-Arieh
Last week, the U.N. General Assembly voted to ratify the Palestinian Authority's resolution to change its U.N. observer status from "entity" to "non-member state.” In my opinion, this decision did nothing except take the peace process backward another step. This resolution’s move toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state came as a one-sided proposal, without Israel's consent. While standing on the General Assembly stage and telling lies about Israel, Mahmoud Abbas knew he was making some people in Israel very angry. When he was comparing Israelis to the Nazis and saying how badly Palestinians are treated (while Israel supports them with millions of dollars each year)- he knew he was playing a vicious, childish game. Mahmoud Abbas tried to hit on Israel's decision makers’ sensitive spots in order to elicit a reaction that would make Israel look bad in the eyes of the world.
I was sure that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his officials saw Mahmoud Abbas' true intentions. I knew that they would congratulate the Palestinians on-stage, and then maybe consider a mild, diplomatic response for their one-sided move off-stage, announcing that the peace process would be delayed until the Palestinian leadership is willing to have a mature discussion. But then, the Israeli government approved a plan for 3,000 new residential units in the E-1 area, between Eastern Jerusalem and Maale Adumin in the West Bank. The E-1 area is particularly sensitive, and building there sends a very clear message: "if you pull tricks on us—we’ll pull harder tricks on you." By doing this, Israel's decision-makers pulled us down to the other side's low level. We could have left the U.N. vote with a superior position if we had reacted diplomatically, with Israel's leaders asking to sit down and talk. This would have been the smart thing to do, no question. This approach would have been the most reasonable one, but for some very strange reason, Netanyahu took the approach of an eight year old.
This peace process, which many Israelis and Palestinians want, has sadly turned into a children’s game. Instead of a grown-up conversation, both sides get impatient and try to get back at each other, pulling pranks and calling names. Well excuse me, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas- in this board game, your pawns are real-life people. In your little game, there are lives at stake. I, for once, will not tolerate my representatives in the Knesset making all the wrong decisions for me. You see, it's not only the U.S. State Department and several European leaders who are mad at Israel's reaction, but half the people in Israel are mad as well. I cannot bear the thought of watching people who promise to do what's best for the people of Israel leading us to a diplomatic oblivion. The childish game Netanyahu is playing has been causing a worldwide rage, and for what?! For the satisfaction of "getting back" at his nemesis? As an Israel citizen, it hurts me to watch this harsh criticism on my country. Now, Instead of criticizing Mahmoud Abbas for addressing the U.N without talking to Israel's leaders, and reminding the world of his true intentions of conquering all of Israel, newspapers worldwide deal with Israel's childish reaction, which basically told the world we don't care much about the U.N.'s decisions.
During operation Pillar of Defense, many Israelis and pro-Israelis worldwide worked very hard in order to keep people abroad aware of what truly occurred, and not what the foreign media decided to show. The efforts turned out to be very productive, and I can confidently say the operation ended with Israel's hand on top when it came to public support. Now, our trusted leaders threw our hard work into the trash. They turned around the public opinion, right when they had the chance to keep Israel in a positive light, in our relationships with foreign state leaders and their people. Since this is the case, I have one message for both Netanyahu and Abbas: Hey there, we are the little people you are playing with. For our sake, please remember your role as the people in charge of our wellbeing. So stop the nonsense, and try to make things better here. Thank you.
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