Thursday, November 29, 2007

Annapolis - still here? - Is one permitted to yawn?

“The King is in his altogether, his altogether and altogether as naked as the day when he was born,” sings Danny Kaye. The parley at Annapolis needs someone to say it as it really is.
The Arab States, having been cajoled into attending the conference are quite happy to continue with their 3 “no’s” of yesteryear and no-one is prepared to say anything. They must be laughing from kafiyah to kafiyah. The Israeli press cannot meet representarives of the Arab States, Zippi Livni is being snubbed by the same Arab States and claiming she is a “pariah”.

And why should they? Israel is quite prepared to go on giving and conceding and unless I have missed something, I haven’t read of anything Abbas is conceding. And why should he? He is not in a position to implement anything otherwise his life is in danger.

Another anology appeared in the Jerusalem Post in an Op-Ed this week by Michael Freund Why try to be inventive when, in these few words, he captures the view of 68% of Israelis according to recent opinion polls. He writes, watching the carnival unfold at Annapolis this week, I am inspired to reach for Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland, where the main character falls down a rabbit-hole into a world far removed from our own, one where the rules of logic and common sense simply do not apply.

And how about the Mad Tea Party, where the March Hare, the Hatter and the Dormouse crowd together at the table and proceed to lambast and insult Alice to her face? With that image in mind, consider how Israel has been greeted by various Arab participants at the Annapolis gathering.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal declared that he would not even shake Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's hand, and on Monday, the Saudi embassy in Washington expelled Israeli journalists from its premises for seeking to attend a press conference.

The outcome of this process, like the trial presided over by the King and Queen of Hearts at the book's end, is a foregone conclusion. In the story, at the very opening of the hearings, before even a word of evidence has been presented, the King turns to the jury and declares, "Consider your verdict."

And that, quite sadly, is what Annapolis and the process it is meant to spawn, is all about. For everyone, it seems, including many members of our own government, views Israel as the party which must submit to the other side's demands, regardless of whether truth, justice and morality would dictate otherwise.

However, Alice's nightmare finally comes to an end when she can stand it no longer. Turning to the Queen and her assembled guests, the newly-assertive young girl realizes the folly of the proceedings around her, before telling them, "Who cares for you? You're nothing but a pack of cards!"

It was, after all, just a bad dream, one which fizzled away as soon as Alice came to her senses and stood up to her would-be aggressors. May Israel and its leaders finally do the same, and realize that fantasy worlds such as Peaceland exist only in their imagination.

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