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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What they say vs what they do

One of the many valuable lessons contained in the video I posted yesterday related specifically to how one can identify the true intentions of someone who is romantically pursuing another:

"Ignore everything they say and pay attention only to what they do"

Having once been a teen-aged boy, I can fully appreciate the basic truth behind this simple rule... and I made a mental note to pass it along to my teen-aged daughter at the earliest opportunity (the lecture to my almost-teen-aged son is an ongoing, and far more complicated one).

But this morning when I woke up and scanned the news I realized that this sage dating advice has a much wider application.  Like, say, to the current 'relationship' between the 'moderate' Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government.

Given the Israeli government's penchant for dropping it's nickers at the slightest hint of interest, it isn't clear who is the pursuer in the current model.  But the P.A. seems to be a good fit given that they've made an art of saying just the right thing in order to coax more and more gestures and concessions from Israel... while doing exactly the opposite with impunity.

Case in point is today's announcement of the recipients of the P.A.'s highest medal; 'The Al Kuds Mark of Honor'.  One would think that this august award, which is given at the sole discretion of the P.A. President, would go to one of the moderate leaders of the P.A. negotiating team or to some poet or national icon who has worked tirelessly for the peaceful achievement of Palestinian Statehood.

But one would be wrong.

Instead, 'The Al Kuds Mark of Honor', was bestowed upon the following worthy individuals:

Ahlam Tamimi - A Hamas terrorist currently serving a life sentence for driving the suicide bomber who blew himself up in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, killing at least half a dozen people, including an entire family.

Amra Muna -  The female terrorist who seduced Israeli teenager Ophir Rahum over the Internet and then lured him to Ramallah where he was murdered by her co-conspirators.

Again, can there be any doubt as to the P.A.'s true intentions if these are the models they hold up to their people as paradigms of exemplary civic behavior and praiseworthy contributors to the cause of Palestinian nationalism?

Memo to Olmert and Livni:  Ignore what they say... watch only what they do! They say they want a two state solution but their maps, Arabic speeches and operations are focused solely on a 'war of stages' whose stated goal is the achievement of a one-state solution; at best a bi-national state flooded with Palestinian refugees... and at worst a Palestinian state in place of Israel!

The consequences of heeding only what Mahmoud Abbas says and ignoring what he does go far beyond your own personal reputations.  You are not carrying on some public flirtation with a potential paramour.  You are parked on a dark back-street with a serial rapist who celebrates murderers and thirsts for your (and our) blood.

[UPDATE:  I guess someone pointed out the small conflict of interest to Mr. Abbas.  He just announced that he is 'revoking' the awards.  Mind you, he hasn't explained how he came to the decision to honor these two terrorists or even hinted that it was in ill-advised decision.  He just made a perfunctory announcement that the medals would not be given.  I'm sure our leaders will fall all over themselves trying to use this as proof that he is, indeed, a man of peace.]

Posted by David Bogner on April 16, 2008 | Permalink


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I think this has valuable applications as parents of teenagers too--ignore what they say most of the time.

Posted by: mother in israel | Apr 16, 2008 1:51:26 PM

(Not a huge fan of the final metaphor you use, but) I am sadly concluding that you are right about both our government and our potential partner.

Posted by: PP | Apr 16, 2008 3:17:56 PM

yael has a much more "colorful" title today.

Posted by: nikki | Apr 16, 2008 3:33:56 PM

I would put it this way: Ignore everything they say in English; pay attention only to what they say in Arabic.

Posted by: psachya | Apr 16, 2008 4:53:28 PM

You find time to post about doggies and politics?

Every other Orthodox man is shlepping boxes of dishes, or has his head in an oven. Shame on you - and I've already cleaned around the computer, so go stand in the corner with that sandwich.

Posted by: Ben-David | Apr 16, 2008 5:39:18 PM

Call me a barbarian, but I'd like to show my gratitude to the recipients of those rewards and the man issuing them by providing them with their very own visit from an Apache.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 16, 2008 7:41:51 PM

I remember the Sbarro bombing.
At the time, these names jumped out at me:

Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, of Neria
Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, of Neria
Ra'aya Schijveschuurder, 14, of Neria
Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, of Neria
Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, of Neria

Why did these names jump out at me? Well, the surname is Dutch.... I am fluent in Dutch.... And if there is anywhere that a Dutch Jew should be safe, it is Jerusalem - it is no longer safe to be openly Jewish in the Netherlands (unless you are prepared to always apologise for being Jewish, and assert that unlike "those" people, you warmly support the need for a peace that actually means the destruction of Israel and the imposition of at least a degree of Islamic law if not the whole package...).

[At the very least, the average Dutchman expects you to agree that WWII has been made far too much of, the Americans are evil and controlled by the Zionists, and please laugh along with him while he tells a joke about Moos, Bram, and Sara, to prove that you are an allright fellow who doesn't take himself too seriously.]

The Sbarro bombing, and the anti-Israel riot in Amsterdam in April 2002, where among the things that got me to take my thumb out of my ...donkey... and get involved.

That, and hearing from too many people that wearing a keppel in Amsterdam (Mokum Alef, nota bene!) was asking for trouble.

Posted by: The Back of the Hill | Apr 16, 2008 10:34:38 PM

At the end of the analogy, comparing the PA to a serial murderer rapist, well, the analogy would be true, except in this case Israel has already been dating him for 15 years and keeps coming back for more.

Posted by: Evan | Apr 16, 2008 11:50:05 PM

that advice also struck me during the video....

certainly also works with our friends and neighbors...

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Apr 17, 2008 12:19:12 AM

As you point out, there's a report this morning that Abbas has "revoked" (whatever that means) the award. But his, and the PA's, barely-concealed hypocrisy and double-speak are out there on display for anyone who cares to read.

I am a parent of one of the children murdered in Sbarro Jerusalem massacre. This is why I pay more than the usual interest in what’s said about the killer. So I feel the need to react when I see a news report (the Jerusalem Post report that is the sole source for this reporting about the award) saying “The two were Ahlam Tamimi, a Hamas affiliate serving a life sentence for driving the suicide bomber who exploded himself in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, killing at least half a dozen people…”

Fifteen people were murdered at Sbarro that day. Technically that's “at least half a dozen” but most would see it as an odd way to express the toll. A sixteenth victim, a young mother, has been lying unconscious from that day until now. My daughter Malka Chana Roth , 15, was among those killed. 130 people were maimed and injured. That’s my first point.

The second is that, notwithstanding the Jerusalem Post’s report describing the murderous young woman as the driver, she wasn’t.

Calling her the driver gives the impression of someone relatively marginal to this barbaric slaughter. In fact, as the court that tried and convicted her found, this young woman personally engineered the massacre, procured the explosives, and accompanied the walking bomb-person from Samaria, via the Ramallah-area checkpoint crossing, into Jerusalem and right up to Sbarro. After the explosion, she coolly made her way back to Ramallah where she personally presented the evening news on PA television, including a report on the deaths she had herself caused to happen.

There’s more background at http://www.kerenmalki.org/Sbarro_Massacre.htm

Arnold Roth

Posted by: Arnold Roth | Apr 17, 2008 12:19:19 PM

Mr. Roth,
As one who reads the news here mostly in disbelief, I am terribly sorry for your loss. I can only hope that one day soon we will have Jewish leadership- hopefully Moshiach- and that the memory of your daughter and all those like her, as well as the deep compassion for everyone else affected by these things is honored and held sacred.

Posted by: Yosef | Apr 17, 2008 4:43:00 PM


I second Yosef's sentiments. I'm very sorry.

Posted by: jaime | Apr 18, 2008 3:34:36 AM

I'd say Abba's withdrawing the awards for terrorists is encouraging. Let's see, what can Israel surrender in return for this magnanimous gesture -- how about the West Bank?

Posted by: Bob | Apr 19, 2008 8:47:20 PM

Its funny (well, funny is a problematic word here) that it seems that this is one of the only situations that we need reminding about the difference of words and deeds...
quite an astute observation.

Posted by: Vicki | May 6, 2008 9:18:16 AM

Send a Smile:


Posted by: Matthias Krüger | Mar 18, 2009 10:51:24 AM

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