Saturday, November 17, 2018 -
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Nuts! PA nixes friendly meeting

Does the Palestinian leadership have the slightest desire for peace?

If it’s illegal and immoral for Palestinians to be guests in an Israeli sukkah for a cup of coffee, is there any hope for peace?

If four local Palestinians who accepted the invitation of Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi to visit him in his sukkah were arrested for visiting with Jews, what kind of coexistence, if any, does the Palestinian leadership envision?

If Khaled Tafish, a parliamentarian in the Palestinian Legislative Council, says on Palestinian TV about the Palestinian visitors at the informal Israeli peace event — “If they knew that there would be a punishment and that they will be pursued for doing that, then the incident would not have happened” — what does the Palestinian Legislative Council want?

If the mayor of Efrat, in calling upon the Palestinian Authority to release from jail his sukkah guests, said — “It’s time that the PA asks itself whether it would prefer to fan the flames of conflict instead of working to bring people together” — was he wrong?

If the PA Deputy governor Bethlehem Muhammad Taha said that the incident was “under investigation” and the that sukkah visitors “will be held accountable under Palestinian law,” what does that say about the laws that Palestinians want their people to live under?

If Palestinians are prohibited from having a friendly, non-political conversation with Israelis, what does the Palestinian leadership prefer instead?

If so-called human rights organizations remain silent in the face of the arrest of Palestinians for talking with Jews, what does that say about these organizations’ agenda?

If the mayor of Efrat said — “Initiatives that seek to foster cooperation and peace between people should be encouraged, not silenced” — should he think differently?

If it took the intervention of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Terroritories, a unit of Israel’s Defense Ministry, to pressure the PA to release these four sukkah visitors, is Israel’s authority in the West Bank a matter of “occupation” or a matter of common humanity?

If the sukkah visitors were  from the Palestinian village of Wadi Al Nis, which is near Efrat, will this little village face violent repercussions from the Palestinian Authority, in the manner of other persecuted, Palestinian peace seekers of years and decades past?

If the 30 or so Israeli visitors to the sukkah see what happens to Palestinians who visit for the sake of peace, what level of optimism should these Israelis hold for peace?

What policy conclusions should they draw about the leadership of the Palestinian Authority?

If it is a crime for Palestinians to have coffee with Jews, is this crime “merely” anti-Zionist or it is essentially anti-Semitic?

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the four Palestinian visitors’ release — “I call on the international community to work to help free these innocent Palestinians whose imprisonment is yet another proof of the Palestinian refusal to make peace” — is that a politician making a political point, or is that a politician’s reacting accurately to a political incorrect reality: the Palestinian leadership simply doesn’t want peace on any level?

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