a different side of Israel

Sukkot Lemons

Sukkot LemonsIsraeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, shown meeting Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas inside the Knesset’s Succa, must be trying everything to appease the man who really isn’t worth appeasing. No sooner had this most recent meeting between the two men taken place when it was learned that Mr. Abbas is planning to meet secretly with top Hamas officials; possibly with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ leader in Gaza.

All of these events are tied with a proposed summit meeting between Israel, the P.A., Jordan, Egypt, and the USA. With Abbas planning to meet with Hamas officials in Cairo, and judging from the Israeli government’s policies concerning any dealing with Hamas, any benefit of a summit meeting does not have much of a chance of achieving anything, according to Israeli government officials. It was only a couple of weeks back that the Israeli government declared Gaza to be a ‘hostile entity’ and could therefore be treated like an enemy country, including cutting off all services, short of dire humanitarian ones.

Mr. Abbas, who’s ability to really represent the interests of the Palestinians was made very doubtful following the Hamas takeover of Gaza, does not really have much to negotiate with insofar as achieving any kind of agreements with Israel. His desire to find a way to patch things up with Hamas indicates that he fears for his own future in light of Hamas gaining strength, as contrasted to the fortunes of his own Fatah Organization. Being a radical Islamic entity, Hamas has managed gain considerable support with not only many Palestinians, but with Arab and Muslim states abroad as well. Hamas’ popularity is in fact so strong that a senior Hamas official remarked recently that his organization has “a million and one ways to receive funding abroad”. This statement is most likely very true in light of countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia more than willing to help out. The Saudis, despite being fearful of their own monarchy being destabilized by terror groups like Al Qaeda, still favor an entity like Hamas which wants to introduce strict Islamic Shariah laws into Gaza and turn the Strip into a mini Islamic republic.

Israel’s feelings toward Hamas are “known and unequivocal” according to officials in Jerusalem. And in light of events during the past two and half years, it is unlikely that any kind of peaceful relations will ever develop between Hamas and Israel.

Meanwhile, Mr. Olmert, shown Wednesday on T.V. explaining the significance of the yellow citrine fruit known as an Etrog to Mr. Abbas, may eventually find that his efforts to create a fruitful relationship with Abbas’ portion of the P.A. may turn out like that other type of yellow citrus fruit, known as a lemon. This reminds me of the words of that classic song dealing with a broken love affair: “lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet. But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat”.

Mr. Abbas, in looking at the prospects of his sharing power again with Hamas, is probably already aware of the significance of this song.


  1. Well done, Maurice! Now I better understand the old saying: “would you buy a used car from this man?”

    In Olmert’s case, the “car” would definitely be a lemon!

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