Danny Ayalon Needs To Thank Palestinians Too

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israel firefighter.jpgIsrael Deputy Foreign Minister penned a heartfelt oped in the Jerusalem Post expressing thanks to various international players for their offered and provided relief in the terrible Carmel fire disaster in Israel.
To Ayalon’s credit, he thanks Turkey which sent two airplanes to support — along with other aircraft from Greece, Cyprus, Russia, France, Switzerland, the US, Spain and Germany. Danny Ayalon and Israel have had a rough time with Turkey of late — and the gesture from Turkey and the thanks from Ayalon and the Israeli government are important.
He also thanks Bulgaria, Italy and Azerbaijan for committed assistance of firefighters and other support.
And then he mentions that “immediate neighbors” have also “provided significant assistance.”
Perhaps this is code for the Palestinians. I’m not sure.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas had a rare phone call in which Abbas offered condolences on the victims of the Carmel fire and offered trucks and firefighters. Netanyahu expressed appreciation.
Danny Ayalon’s note is generally a good one. But this is the sort of disaster when somone of Ayalon’s stature and role should reflect magnanimity and inclusion.
A bit of unsolicited counsel to Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon and the Foreign Ministry: Express thanks to the Palestinian people for their support — by name — and not just as the “immediate neighbors.”
This won’t fix the bigger problems — but disasters are often opportunities for good will and human empathy to get some momentum and move those in conflict in a healthier direction.
– Steve Clemons
Editor’s Note: Update: Danny Ayalon responds

Comments

15 comments on “Danny Ayalon Needs To Thank Palestinians Too

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  3. replice vertu says:

    Fine you say; or duh. But this simple fact off cross subsidization makes every mollycoddling word coming out of every mollycoddling American politicians mouth a hypocritical lie. The US funds every illegal settlement, outpost, or expansion of existing illegal settlements as surely as if The Treasury Secretary took gold from Fort Knox and hand delivered it to Bibi.
    Oh yeah, and universal health insurance too.

    Reply

  4. replice vertu phone says:

    Unfortunately, goodwill gestures have been sorely missing in Israel’s dealings with Palestinians and with the region. Though the Carmel fire could provide Israel an opportunity to show that it sees Palestinians as human beings, I suspect that politics as usual will quickly overwhelm any generosity on their part.

    Reply

  5. replice cell phone says:

    Posted by Drewslugmoar, Dec 06 2010, 5:44PM – Link
    WOW!
    Not a single comment defending Israel – things a little
    unemployment can do to your judgement. I hope the money comes
    back to America so that their Christian leaders can buy space in
    Heaven by bribing The Chosen.

    Reply

  6. Drewslugmoar says:

    WOW!
    Not a single comment defending Israel – things a little
    unemployment can do to your judgement. I hope the money comes
    back to America so that their Christian leaders can buy space in
    Heaven by bribing The Chosen.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “…these are the absolute stupidest people on the face on the earth”
    Gee, I don’t know about that. What about the idiots that keep sending them money?

    Reply

  8. JohnH says:

    Now that Israel’s neighbors, including Palestinians, have pitched in to help with the fires, maybe Israel will have the graciousness to offer them something in return.
    Unfortunately, goodwill gestures have been sorely missing in Israel’s dealings with Palestinians and with the region. Though the Carmel fire could provide Israel an opportunity to show that it sees Palestinians as human beings, I suspect that politics as usual will quickly overwhelm any generosity on their part.
    After all, grabbing the land, all of the land, is too important to be derailed by any goodwill gestures on the part of Palestinians.

    Reply

  9. Don Bacon says:

    Like the US money that Pakistan uses to fund the GI-killing Taliban, money is fungible. It’s also something the US (unlike Israel) doesn’t have on balance so it has to print it.
    CIA World Factbook
    national account balances (2009 est)
    27 Israel $ 7,637,000,000
    190 United States $ -378,400,000,000
    China, Germany and Japan head the world list with high positive balances. The US is dead last. The Pentagon defends the latter two while it readies to fight China (and subsidizes Israel).

    Reply

  10. DonS says:

    To the valid points made above it is important to note — a fundamental fact — the effects of ‘cross subsidization’. This elementary financial concept gets conveniently ignored in all the verbiage surrounding money given by the US to prop up Israel and insure they remain a muscular military force. While throwaway language is inserted in US loan guarantees supposedly circumscribing use of funds for settlements or other (wink, wink) disincentives to peace, the fact is that every dollar, every penny the US gives or ‘loans’ Israel under any program frees up at least an equal mount for Israel to use whenever and wherever it chooses.
    Fine you say; or duh. But this simple fact off cross subsidization makes every mollycoddling word coming out of every mollycoddling American politicians mouth a hypocritical lie. The US funds every illegal settlement, outpost, or expansion of existing illegal settlements as surely as if The Treasury Secretary took gold from Fort Knox and hand delivered it to Bibi.
    Oh yeah, and universal health insurance too.

    Reply

  11. Don Bacon says:

    POA has a valid point that should not be dismissed.
    Bernard Avishai at TPMCafe: (excerpt quote)
    PERHAPS THE SIGNAL moment came on Channel Two Friday evening, when the fires were at their worst, and the newscast’s most forceful commentator, Amnon Abramovich, let loose with what a great many in the audience was thinking. “If you are not a settler or a Haredi lobby,” he said (I am paraphrasing),”you might as well forget getting anything from the Israeli government in recent years.”
    All in all, the fires have awakened Israel’s silent, slim majority to the paradox of their lives; that regional cooperation is not a myth, and that they are rich enough–global enough–to expect to live better than they do; yet their governments keep propping up settlement projects costing up to $20 billion over the years and engaging in diplomatic spitefulness against neighbors who criticize the very occupation they themselves have come to question.
    The picture here is the look of yesterday’s sundown from the Valley of Jezreel. It was, owing to the smoke, among the most beautiful the country has ever seen. Might one hope for a metaphor in their somewhere? http://tinyurl.com/28stchj
    Wake up, Israel.

    Reply

  12. rc says:

    “immediate neighbors” — ????
    Not a foreign country, not citizens of the single apartheid state, not even an assurance about the safety of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners put at risk … just some nameless humans living in next house: pests you can drop a bit of white phosphorous on when things get a bit dull, or when you decide its time to add a room for another clutch of little ‘chosen ones’.
    What nauseating drivel! It won’t have escaped Hezbollah or Tehran that a few well placed incendiary devices can bring the arrogant Israeli to his knees worrying about his Palestinian trees (I assume the forest was there when it was Palestine, or are the trees in those parts Jewish as well?).
    Now what was that about bombing Iran?
    Abbas needs to be driven out — he’s unelected, incompetent, impotent fool and not a touch on Arafat. He should open his window and stick his hand out and give Netanyahu the ‘Bird’.
    BTW: he is not President Mahmoud Abbas — he’s simply a caretaker until some elections can take place. You know, the sort of thing that democracy is all about! Ha!

    Reply

  13. Steve Clemons says:

    Good morning POA. I disagree with you but understand your frustration. I think human tragedies are human tragedies – and if there is ever going to be progress in conflicts like this one, magnanimous behavior needs to be embraced.
    All best, steve

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Israel EXECUTES an American citizen lying prone and helpless on the deck of a ship in international waters. They cripple an American citizen standing on the periphery of a PEACEFUL demonstration, and they hideously maim another American citizen engaged in peaceful protest.
    And we’re supposed to make an issue out of them not saying “thank you” to a people they were recently incinerating in white phosphorous?
    And we shouldn’t have sent assistance. We’ve given that arrogant and parasitic patch of sand far too much already. Perhaps if they had spent some of the billions we’ve pissed away over there on fire fighting aircraft, they’d still have their forest. But instead, apparently, they spent it on various implements with which to incinerate Muslims.
    Tough shit for them. Cut ‘em off.

    Reply

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