Nidra Poller for Atlas Shrugs: Baked on the Premises
Shimon Peres, outnumbered, wins Davos match with an outstretched hand
Paris February 1, 2009
They pitched the old man against 3 strong younger adversaries, and he won hands down, smashing balls into Erdogan’s court so fast, the sprightly Ottoman stuttered, stumbled, and walked off the court…in disgrace. Yes, whatever he thought, whatever he told himself, whatever the adoring Turkish mobs celebrated, Erdogan lost. He stomped out of the World Economic Forum? Oh? Turkey is going to solve the financial crisis? With that and five piasters…
All three--Ban Ki-Moon looking like a ventriloquist’s dummy, Amr Moussa, hiding his chin in his neck, and Erdogan mouthing the latest version of the Palestinian lethal narrative-- were roundly defeated by Shimon Peres the mensch, the Jew, the old man and, yes, the peacemaker. Whatever we think about Oslo and its aftermath, this too was an advantage. And a lesson for us. We need our full range of thought and positions. We need these men and women who don’t agree with us. And vice versa. The wrath of Shimon Peres, the peacemaker, was devastating.
This is where we are today…finally confronting the essentials. I love Hamas for its honest savagery. Every time some addled political leader mumbles about how all Hamas has to do is one, two, three and we will welcome them with open arms, Hamas replies NO. That doesn’t stop the kitty kats from purring, but it keeps current events on an even keel. Hamas says no, and the peacemaker says “We do not need a cease fire because we do not fire! We fire because we have no other choice! We want to live in peace!”
President Peres read a passage from the Hamas Charter a passage that comes from the Qu’ran, an unabashed promise to kill the Jews, down to the last Jew hiding behind a rock or a tree, denounced by the rock or the tree (rocks and trees have already converted to Islam by that time). What can they say? The Moon, the Moussa, the Caliph, and the moderator David Ignatius look down at their shoes. They would like to say “it’s just words.” But they don’t dare. If they did, Peres could reply—he wouldn’t, but I would—“so, it’s just IDF missiles, it’s just bombed buildings, it’s just dead civilians.” If that’s the game, we can play it too. You put “just” in front of something, and it’s automatically justified. Peres said, in his age old wisdom, “They say they will kill us, and they send missiles to kill us.”
Every detail was uplifting. The deep lines etched into Shimon Peres’ Jewish face of suffering and the strength of his Israeli voice; the slightly trembling right hand firmly steadied with the left; the tufts of hair sticking up after he took off he headphone, the assistant who came to tell him, the incomplete repairs as he smoothed it down on one side and left a tuft sticking up on the other. Our enemies have been grinding away at us for 60 years and instead of washing us down the drain they hit bedrock! Halleluiah.
Only an old man could speak out that way at the WEF in Davos. Peres’ age was like a sacred receptacle containing the heart and soul of Judaism. What in the world did the organizers think they were doing, throwing the old man into the ring with those three guys? Is that their idea of a fair fight? Or was it simply one more international Israel-bashing jamboree? All so smooth in shirts and ties, invited to punch up the old man… for what? To shlurp up some jihadi money and make a giant step in the direction of sharia finance?
Big mistake. They hit the jackpot, a cascade of solid gold divine wrath that knocked them dizzy. And little mister Erdogan thought he would have the last word. Like an ant climbing the north face of the Himalaya, he started inching his way to the moral high ground…and fell down backwards into the Gaza Beach hoax. Pitiful. He said (in simultaneous translation): “I remember children who died on beaches.” Listeners must have assumed he was talking about the recent Cast Lead episode, but the dead children aimed at Israel’s reputation and very existence this time around were positioned in “UN schools” and “private” homes. The Gaza Beach hoax dates back to June 9, 2006. It featured Huda Galia discovering the body of her father allegedly killed along with six other members of the family by a missile shot from an Israeli gunboat off the coast. Marc Galasco of Human Rights Watch, investigating that incident from a distance, confirmed that the crater could only have been caused by an Israeli missile. As it turns out there was no crater. All evidence suggests the family was killed by Palestinian munitions buried in the sands of the public beach. Huda swiftly disappeared from view. And the likes of Galasco are busy today testifying to Cast Lead Israeli war crimes. Not to forget that two weeks after the Gaza Beach hoax Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and several of his fellow soldiers were killed in an unprovoked cross border attack. Who knows, given another ten minutes Erdogan might have backed up all the way to Mohamed al Dura, the seminal 21st century blood libel. Three against one wasn’t good enough for him. Prevented, by a modicum of fairness, from talking Shimon’s head off and making his noble words disappear, Erdogan walked out…leaving a ton of irony behind.
Irony, yes, because the Great Negotiators can’t even debate with an Oslo agreement champion Nobel prize winning peacemaker. Ban Ki-Moon, kvetching about having to rebuild all that Gazan infrastructure destroyed by the big bad Israelis (oh? We thought the poor Gazans lived in hovels…what’s to reconstruct?), implies that if only Israel were amenable to negotiation, if only Israel would respect the UN resolutions and amputate itself, if only Israel would hang its head in shame instead of fighting back against the jihadis who promise to destroy the Jewish state, all of that messy stuff could be avoided. Amr Moussa, who simply can’t understand why we are still waiting for an answer seven years after the magnificent Saudi Peace Plan offer, threatens unspecified retribution if it is not accepted (as is…it’s a take it or leave it deal, no negotiation allowed). And they all ended up naked under the fire of Shimon Peres’ inspired words.
The Davos debate was a stunning illustration of the negotiation fallacy. The fact is no one can talk Hamas into compliance with any law of war or peace. No one can get Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israeli civilian targets. No one can keep Hamas from provoking ripostes that will kill their own civilians. No one can talk Iran into curtailing its nuclear weapons program. No one could talk Arafat into accepting the offer of a Palestinian state instead of trying to destroy the Jewish state. No one can convince the local jihadi cell with branches in London, Paris, and New York, to stop trying to destroy the host country. If it were so easy, why don’t they do it? They can’t. So they crack the whip and tell Israel to do it. No one can keep Hamas from committing war crimes. So they gasp in horror and accuse Israel of committing them.
Who is going to convince Hamas to stop attacking Israel? Not Amr Moussa. He says Palestinians are “expressing themselves” when they launch rockets against Israel. They are reacting to the Occupation (after Israel withdrew from Gaza). Moussa expects the Obama administration to be an honest broker (after all those years with a dishonest broker) that will tell each side what is good, what is wrong. Sure. And when the honest broker tells Hamas it is wrong to store weapons in a mosque he will balance it out by telling Israel it is wrong to return fire coming from a mosque. Erdogan summed it up: anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity. Islamophobia is a crime against humanity.
Try to solve a financial crisis with that kind of arithmetic.