Some Bright Spots Amid the Darkness of the Palestinian-Israeli Situation

While it is the case that the current wave of indiscriminate knife attacks by incited Palestinians against Israelis, and some of the reactions of the former, lead to the inevitable doom and gloom projections of the situation, which is still far from being out of control, there are some other features of life there that are worth mentioning. Being somewhat positive about the situation? Well, why not, if not for any other reason than for the sake of having some hope for better days to come.

One of the disturbing aspects, and less covered amid the current mayhem, is the role played by Palestinian citizens of Israel, as many of them go to the streets to protest, often violently, against Israeli policies, thus displaying support for their people being in confrontation with their state. A prominent leader of Palestinian Israelis is Dr. Ahmad Tibi, a highly intelligent, well-versed speaker -- the type of politician you want to see on your side, not in the opposing one. In terms of full transparency, this blogger has known him for many years, and we both share a passion for soccer, though for different teams.

Tibi is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset (there are 15 non-Jewish MKs in the state that some call an Apartheid state -- a laughable line of propaganda...), and few days ago he used his powers and as the Chairman of a session, ordered a minister off the podium. The details of the verbal kerfuffle between the two are not important, but what is is the fact that with all the high drama around, an Arab MK did this to a high profile Jewish minister, a settler, and a close confidant of PM Netanyahu. Some readers may think it to be a trivial, insignificant incident, but it is not. If that can happen amid all the atrocities, then there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Personally I wish that Dr. Tibi will be a more moderating voice in these days of rage, but this is politics, and this piece is intended to be something else.

Then there is another human story, one which unfortunately did not hit the world headlines. This is about the brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority [PA], the chief instigator of the current wave of terror attacks against Israelis. The close relative just underwent a life-saving heart surgery in the Assuta hospital in Tel-Aviv, where last summer Abbas's wife Amina was also hospitalized, and where in the past, very close relatives of Mustafa Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, who vows to destroy Israel, have also been hospitalized. To return to Abbas: this is the same leader who just days ago referred to the "filthy" Jews who "contaminate" the Al-Aksa Mosque. I wonder what his brother-in-law thinks about that? I have a sense, that he has other ideas, and not being naive, I doubt whether Abbas himself believes in what he says. Then why does he say it?

Last but not least is the petition published in the London Guardian, signed by about 100 prominent British intellectuals, opposing the BDS movement against Israel. Among the signers there was the famous J.K Rowling. There is an implicit connection between the BDS movement and the current wave of violence, because militant Palestinians delude themselves to think that Israel is isolated and under siege, and that is an incentive for violence. By taking a strong position against the BDS movement, these British intellectuals have taken a strong position for dialogue and peace, exactly the opposite of what BDS stands for.

We need more of this and urgently, from Palestinians, from Israelis, from leaders and ordinary people, from all those who really are interested in peace.