On his part, Olmert apologized for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in recent Israeli air strikes. At least 13 Palestinian civilians have been killed in Israeli air strikes in the past week, including two people in a Gaza house on Wednesday and three children on Tuesday. According to the AP, Olmert said he felt “deep regret for the death of innocent Palestinians.” “It is against our policy and I am very, very sorry,” he added. [source]
You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone in Jordan who is fond of the idea that Olmert has come to the country to attend the Nobel laureates forum in Petra; or even worse, to shake hands with Abbas. Not the best of times with the last couple of days filled with Palestinian bloodshed, but then again when is it not a good time?
I don’t sympathise with Abbas, but I have some empathy for the situation he’s in. The last couple of weeks while blogging about all this bloodshed I’ve found it easy to forget political context. Sympathy comes easy; it’s resolution that has a tough time finding its place in this conflict. A lot of people, especially in Jordan want to see justice but justice is hard to come by as well. There is no leverage, there are no options and there is no kryptonite in the equation. We’re left with diplomacy; we can always give that up too and spend the next century or two sifting through sand. Or we can take Shakespeare’s advice and just sit on the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings. That’s always been helpful in the past.
Diplomacy isn’t anyone’s idea of “justice” but the alternative is nothing and while it’s easy for me or anyone else sitting on the outside of this conflict to prefer the nothingness, to prefer that Palestinians keep fighting and therefore keep dying, it remains an unrealistic and unreasonable alternative.
I am not a fan of Palestinian politics or politicians, but Abbas is nevertheless trying to hold this thing together with scotch tape. To the lesser observers (who are many) diplomacy translates to best-friends-holding-hands; peace is equated with love, with a dose of hippie music from 60Ã¢??s playing in the background amidst fields of neon flowers. Yet politically speaking it’s a different story. Diplomacy is negotiations, compromises, resolutions. The things Palestinians will have to compromise for the sake of statehood are unquestionably harsh, yet the harsher alternative is the stuck-in-limbo reality.
If the leaders and diplomats who are around today do not work for Palestinian statehood history will remember it; the Palestinians who will inevitably die years from now will remember it. I’ve never met a Palestinian in Palestine who preferred war to peace with Israel, to sovereignty and statehood. Ironically practically everyone in Jordan would indeed prefer it; every one on the outside-looking-in says why not? I never fully understood it to be honest. I can see the element of “justice” behind it but nevertheless.
The ideal situation would be that all Arab countries (including Jordan) cut off all ties with Israel: diplomatic, economic, etc. The next step is obviously that all the Arabs get together and unite, politically, economically and militarily. Then of course they all attack Israel to wipe it off the map and as for nuclear weapons they’ll simply erect a giant umbrella to protect them. Or better yet the brightest minds in the Arab world can come together to build a time machine.
The likelihood of any of this happening is along the lines of seeing cows fly and if you ask a Palestinian in a refugee camp if he’d prefer diplomacy to cows flying…well.
But hey, I’m open to all ideas so if anyone has any better ones (which are realistically viable to Palestinians and not to one’s own sense of justice) then comment away; I’d love to hear’em. Most people don’t like this kind of thinking, it’s seen as a betrayal. Is it? I spent a great deal of my teenage years protesting and shouting the streets and chanting slogans pretty much like everyone else in the Middle East (including Israel). Are we all meant to grow up and see the world differently? For some reason if you support Palestinian statehood then you’ve given up something (something which was given up by everyone in 1948 and then again in 1967 and in both years I wasn’t born yet). To promote peace and diplomacy is to condone Israeli actions and that is an equation that I’ve read between the lines many times and never clearly comprehended. Why can’t we do both? If a diplomat can kill off screen and speak of peace on screen, then why can’t we fight for Palestinian statehood and condemn Israeli aggression?
The problem with you Nas is that you’re a blind follower, you are equipped with justifications and justifications when ever Jordan steps a foot, you’re becoming so predictable, the picture of the king standing next to Olmert is enough for you to jump blindly to the diplomatic solution.
Now, those who want to fight are outside Palestine, mmm, but in Palestine they want peace, have you asked Huda about her opinion? In other words, have you heard about dignity? You’re shocking me when you show a 5-year-old-child vision of politicians, Nas, politicians are ordinary people, when you shake the hands of your slaughterer with a big smile on your face, then this only carries one of two meanings, either you’re too afraid, or you agree with what he does.
Not because your favorite politician does a thing that means automatically that it’s the right thing to do! Betrayal is never in your equation.
I wish that you will be at that specific situation one day, I wish that one day you arrange a meeting with an Israeli offical for a diplomatical solution, and while you’re in the middle of that meeting, news tell you that your “friend’s” tanks are crushing live Palestinians, I wonder what would you do?
There’s a proverb I learned while I was in Palestine: “Only a bitch gets raped without screaming”
man!! I’m pissed off!!
Omar, it’s strange that if anyone says anything in support of Jordan or the King he is a “blind follower”. It’s the Osama Bin Laden & George Bush game show: “Agree with Me or You Die”…but c’est la vie…sticks and stones, let me avoid name calling and judgements by moving on to the bigger fish.
I didn’t ask Huda her opinion but I’m guessing you did. Obviously a family having a peaceful picnic on a Gaza peace wants nothing in life other than war and strife. If any of us had the chance to prevent that would we take it? If we had the power to make it right, would we do it? And how would we go about doing so? Prayer?
And if you’re political analysis boils down to politicians smiling for a photo op then you’ve either highly underestimated the politics of our region or politics all together.
Sure you’re pissed off, I’m pissed off, we’re all pissed off. Tomorrow we’re going to go out to the streets and scream bloody murder. We will scream for war and then we will retreat to our comfortable beds. It baffles me how prepared people are for going to fight in a battle they have no intention fighting.
What would I do? I would do what any diplomat, politician, leader or as you put it person, would logically do if he truly seeks the ultimate benefit of his people or brethern; secure statehood…the short term cost is better than the long term cost. You can choose the loss of Huda’s family once a month from here till eternity, or you can try and put a stop to it.
…and let them call me a traitor before they tuck themselves in at night.
like i said…offer me alternatives.
some very scattered points:
very true! it’s all in the name of diplomacy … after all, sometimes you have to do things you don’t necessarily like doing … that’s how it works, right Naseem ;)…
–When you talk about diplomacy, highlighting the context is very critical! lets go back in history and walk through, step by step how israel became what it is now! Who played the major role in the displacement of a very large number of Palestinians? shall we? Seriously, who are we kidding! there is a huge difference between Abbas shaking Olmert’s hand and every other Arab leader shaking hands with , embrasing, attending funerals of israeli leaders!
–I know that you are fully entitled to your own opinions – especially on your own personal website…but why – exactly- aren’t you a fan of “palestinian politics or politicians”?
That will never happen because history proved that Arabs have no dignity…no values…no morals. They are greedy, selfish and don’t give a crap about the wellfare of their neighbors…
Iman, lol so it’s OK if Abbas shakes hands with Olmert but the rest of Arab leaders shouldn’t?! why? It doesn’t make sense. How Abbas is not a traitor but Jordan’s King or Egypt’s prisident are for example?
so basically you’re saying in order to understand the present we need to go back to the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s and look at the major players who caused the whole thing in the first place.
how clever (and constructive)
didnt you know? its because I hate palestinians 😉
I’m not a fan of palestinian politics or politicians because they are the biggest players for their own destinies and they haven’t had a great history of crafting it (despite Israeli, American and/or Arab intereference or lack there of)
of course it’ll never happen…i was being sarcastic…i thought the time machine totally gave it away (not to mention the flying cows and the talk of unity)
if only they could…
LOL! of course…but you wouldn’t want to revist that… for obvious reasons!
the truth of the matter is that the ball is not in their court!
i was being sarcasticÃ¢?Â¦
No Way! you were!!
lol why wouldn’t I want to revist it?
So basically you’re saying Palestinian politicians have absolutley no use whatsoever since…you know…the balls not in their court.
yeah totally! after I read you’re reply to that paragraph I thought I needed to bring out the flash cards or something. 😀
Simple logic Nas, you don’t want anyone to declare war, right? because kids don’t like war, you want peace, because peace is better for everyone. We on the other hand want war because we don’t know anything about the situation and at the end of the night we go to our comfortable beds, right?
If I was using the logic of Osama Bin Laden & Bush, then it’s a hundred times better than yours!
You don’t want war!! who does for God’s sake?? BUT YA NASEEM YA 7ABIBI there IS A WAR going on, and it’s killing children, or you hear the news from FOX TV??? when you don’t respond to it, then you’re a pussy, but when you go meet your slaughterer and have jokes with him, then you’re not a pussy, you’re simply a traitor. I’ve been to Ramallah, I’ve seen the palaces of those who want the diplomatic solution, I’ve seen their children wearing the most expinsive cloths on earth, I’ve seen how they all with their families and relatives go through check points with VIP cards while the rest of the Palestinians are dying, yes honey, betrayals. you, on the other hand, are not a traitor, you’re simply a blind follower, you’re with them, no matter what they do, ma3ahom ma3ahom 3alaihom 3alaihom, like all Jordanians, you use your head all the time, but when the king is in the picture, turn it off!
The question ya seedi isn’t “give me altenatives”, the question is “the war is going on, shall we respond or shall we go to Petra and Paris?” DON’T YOU GET IT? how many times did they have meeting that ended with bigger smiles and shake hands? Have it done anything? have you ever heard of south Lebanon??
“lol why wouldnÃ¢??t I want to revist it?”
Just proving my points…. you obviously read your history from Bakir Khazer El majali…. believe me Nas, when you realize why you should revise your history, you want start with a “LOL”
LOOL! Please tell me you’re kidding! I’ve been to Ramallah too … The only palaces I saw belong to well known business men who dont even live there and arab americans … did you by any chance visit il moqata3a? the home of yaser arafat?
The ones you saw going through vip cards are most definitely humanitarian organizations employees and NGOs … and those don’t pass sometimes… you started off making a lot of sense, but now and with all due respect you’re just BS’ing!
Naseem, We’ve discussed this particular topic numerous times…I am all for ‘peace’ and ‘co-existance’ … i am basically saying that no matter what efforts paletinian politicians, abbasm etc. put into ‘resolving’ the situation, the bigger picture is against them… They are damned if they ‘shake’ hands and damned if they don’t!
Iman, my cousin is married to a former consultant to Abu Ammar, he’s not even a big player in politics, , when he married my cousin he didn’t have a penny, now he drives a 740 BMW, and my cousin drives a brand new Land cruiser! When I entered his Villa, I estimated what’s inside by almost $500,000, both of his daughters have officially travelled the world (everything paid by the ‘Sulta’), as for the VIP treatment, he let my aunt travel from Nables to Ramallah without even leaving the car, this is only a sample, you can also research about the owners of many towers in Dubai, you will be surprised I’m sure. Maybe I’ve exaggerated a little (palaces), but I don’t appreciate being labeld as an idiot, or saying BS!
OmAr, what war? All I see are Palestinians being killed. Every while a semi-defective practically home made qassam rocket is launched from Gaza. Is this the Palestinian army? Fine, let the Palestinian army keep fighting if that’s what all the Palestinians want. I’m sure they will achieve freedom, statehood, and independence any day now. We can sit here 30 years from now still discussing the increasing death toll. Which makes me wonder if one of the reason people urge for war is because they’re afraid they wont have anything to talk about anymore.
Omar, what’s going on is basically a one-sided war on a group of people who are sick and tired of fighting. A group of people who are sick and tired of raising their kids with checkpoints and incoming missiles. A group of people who have no hope in hell in winning this “war”. A group of people who want to live without that fear, who want jobs that are actually sustainable in an economy whose infrustructure isn’t being constantly destroyed by the aggressor.
This isn’t school yard politics bro. this isn’t about fighting back so you won’t be called “a pussy”. There’s a point in time when the bully is beating the crap out of you everyday that you realise fighting back with all your might just isn’t going to cut it.
And I hate this whole “you jordanians” thing. It forces one to say “you palestinians” and I’ve always avoided that because it feels like im insluting my blood brother. I know you have no problem doing that but the fact is Jordan is a soveriegn nation. It does what it can for Palestine but it is not Palestine. It is essentially Palestinians within Palestine who have the right to dictate their own destinies and their own leadership is currently failing.
The question is “shall we respond to the war?” I for one didn’t hear the clairion call but I suppose that’s a side effect of the “deaf follower” as well. So what should our response be to this “war”? Send in the troops? Get the tanks warmed up? Is that essentially what the plan should be? The response? Israel would probably destroy our forces in about an hour or two. Then what? What happens when in one day we destroy everything we’ve built just for the sake of responding to this clarion call?
I’m humoured because I’m recalling the battles the Prophet Mohammad pbuh fought in his day. Here was a man who recognised when his army was no match and sought out instead diplomacy, at least for the short run. Why? Because it was the most beneficial thing for his own people. What would we have him do instead? Send in the troops to be slaughtered just for the sake of not being called “pussies”? I don’t know if that’s underestimating your opponent or if it’s false pride.
Lastly, Bakir Khazer Majali? Oh God this again. We’re going to start talking about how Jordan is responsible for aaaal the Palestinians problems today. Sheesh. Talk about predictable.
really? i dont remember you saying any of that before…
I can admit that there are larger forces against them, it is essentially the source of my empathy that I mentioned earlier. But put yourself in the position of Palestinian leadership. What would “Iman” do? Seriously now. As I asked before, what are the alternatives? Would you reserve your job for mainly going on TV everyday and reading out the names of the latest victims? They say a leader leads. So where do we want to go? Should we take a people who are already poor and helpless into an abyss that is even darker, do we drown them in the debt of our own desires to resist? How many are we willing to sacrafice in this cause? Like I mentioned in my previous reply to Omar, even the greatest of our historical leaders resolved to diplomacy when the realisation that the cost of the alternative was too big to pay.
We can sit here and discuss history endlessly. We can talk about how shaking hands in the past has never done anything (although technically it has). But this takes me back to my original question: what is the alternative? I’m inclined to believe that even people like Abbas will risk anything if there is even the smallest chance to achieve a peaceful solution for his OWN people. I’m inclined to believe that this is what Yasser Arafat, Allah yer7amo, chose to do.
There are no alternatives. There are no shades of gray. At this point in our history it’s do or die.
I’m inclined to believe the majority of Palestinians would prefer the “do” over the “die”
First of all, I guess we’re done, talking will solve nothing I guess.
I will leave this conversation with simple points,
I’m not against negotiations in general, what I’m saying is we never achieved anything with it for that we compromised too much, and for nothing.
One hell of a difference beween diplomacy and what happened in Petra, there’s no logic in the whole world that could justify Abbas and the King not showing any consideration whatsoever, this is by every standerd rude, and it couldn’t be more applicable to treachery.
The Palestinians could’ve chosen Fateh to represent them in the government if peace (on the Abbasi way) is what they want.
What I meant by “the war is going on” is that there is a Palestinian bloodshed, and no one is doing anything (that is if you exclude the kisses in Petra).
You have a big talent in hiding your “you palestinians” underneath every context, you never go in public with it; your blog might be the only place where I’m always seduced to use a sentense like “you Jordanians”. I’m pretty sure that you don’t “hate” this whole thing.
You have this attitude of talking as if you represent every Palestinian inside, at the same time, every Jordanian, and surprisingly, you represent Jordan’s foreign policy! (don’t tell me there’s no contradiction, I beg you).
History doesn’t matter, right? Only when you prefer that, next time, whenever I want to talk about any historical fact, I’ll give you a call to see wheather it matters or not, 😉
I really admire everything else you discuss and talk about, my own personal opinion is that you (along with every Jordanian ;)) turn off your minds when it comes to something common between Jordan and Palestine.
OmAr, Abbas is the president of the PNA like it or not, just as Hamas now leads the government like it or not. Last time I checked he still had 3 years on his term. Hamas can use all the poetry it wants until nothing is left of Palestine. I’m not a huge fan of Abbas but at least he speaks in prose. We can all cheer for a few minutes that Palestinians had free elections and democratically chose a party to lead the government…doesn’t mean they made the right choice and it doesn’t mean that Hamas is going to do them any good and we’re begining to see that.
There is always Palestinian bloodshed. Like I said before, when is it a good day to begin with? And if that’s the only reason that things cannot get done then we might as well give up and do absolutely nothing at all. We’ll say “there’s bloodshed in Palestine” so “now’s not a good time to talk”. The purpose of talking is to try and put an end to the bloodshed and if a handshake can do it then it has to be done. Condemn them for their actions but fight for a truce, for some peace for anything. Condemn them and then do nothing about it? Is that the policy now?
Yeah I have a “big talent” for hiding that. Your powers of observation are so overwhelming; you managed to see right through the veneer and realise I’m just a “Pali-Hater” in disguise. You caught me, so bravo for you. I don’t know why I was hiding it all these years “underneath every context”.
I make no such claim that I represent all the Palestinians or all the Jordanians. I represent myself. I do represent my people but I do not speak for all of them, just as you do not speak for all Palestinians.
History doesn’t matter…wait…lemme check if I actually said that…hmm no. Omar, I think we may have overestimated those powers of observation of yours. You want to dwell in the past, along with Iman and the likes? Sure! No problem. Give me all your “palestine was betrayed by jordan”. It’s funny because the only people that agree with that version of history are actually zionists, so hey, you have something in common afterall eh? 😉
It seems that whenever someone disagrees with the way things are going in Palestine; when someone wants to see a better life for Palestinians…our minds are all suddenly “turned off”. It’s kind of sad really.
I’ll tell you what, when you offer me an alternative, a solution, and quite possibly an actual arguement…give me a call 😉
man! I guess that the truce we should seek now is between you and me! 🙂
I have to say that I’ve always admired your consistency, you don’t give up (it’s the Karaki genes i guess 😉 ) I’m sure you’ll end up as a remarkable politician.
Well, I’m not going through your last comment, there’s only one thing that I can’t just ignore, that is the “you Pals, and you Jordanians” thing, you interpreted the “you Palestinians” accusation as if I’m saying that you hate Palestinians, thus, apparently you got the idea that I hate Jordanians in return when I say you Jordanians. You don’t have to believe me, but the fact is, I don’t hate Jordanians, actually my only friends in the world are Jordanians (two Bani Hassan, one Hwaitat, and three from Irbid) (notice the details 😉 ) what I mean when I say you Jordanians is the political mentality which surprisingly is the same among the whole “Jordanian race”, exceptions do not exist! I have no idea how that happened, it doesn’t matter wheather you’re eduacated or not, it’s always the same! This is why I get furious whenever someone like you use the same old mentality of blind following, through my 20 years of life inside Jordan, I, regrettably, learned that this is the only way of how you can distinguish between a Jordanian and a Palestinian. At least I’m not afraid to speak my mind, I never was and hopefully never will be, that’s my whole point of using the “you Jordanians”. btw, I checked my words again, I didn’t notice that I’ve ever used the exact words of “you Jordanians” so, you seem to have the same overwhelming powers of observation like I do 😉
And zionists? LOL, now I’m zionist naseem? haha, ok but just for the record, Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians, leftists in general, share the same view about Jordan-Palestinians history, it’s the first time that I hear that zionists share that too, interesting.
p.s. as you can see, I didn’t go through your comment as I proised, bil marra 😉
Omar, (i really dont care about this arguement as it opens a whole other can of worms, but anyways..)
As far as I can tell the implication here is that I dont like Palestinians for some odd reason, it’s just that I’m good at hiding it.
And what is the political mentality exactly? Support of the monarchy? if that’s it then lol the whole “no exception” thing is pretty funny.
I didn’t say you were a zionist I said you share something in common with them because they are the only non-Arabs who actually believe that bs; in fact they’re the one’s who created/wrote it and most Arabs will ignore anything written or said by zionists unless of course it’s about Jordan. and yeah all those people do share the same view. a great deal of them are also illiterate and praise bin laden and zarqawi so I wouldn’t give them too much credit.