News stormed this morning the cancellation of a performance by an Israeli local singer that is scheduled to be held in a high profile public event hosted by Israeli president Rueven Rivlin. The singer was to perform at an event next week in the commemoration of the expulsion and exile of Jews from Arab countries. The cancellation came upon the release of a “racist: anti-Arab” song by the singer called “Ahmad loves Israel”, that according to the president office expresses statements that “ do not, to say the least, help bring calm to the streets, at this time of conflict and tension.” Rivlin belongs to the Likud right wing party. In Israel, the president’s role is ceremonial. Rivlin has called for calmness, and was seen in what seems to be ‘leftist’ during the past months condemning violence and killing. He is known for his supporting views on minority rights. He is known for strongly opposing a two state solution. He is described as a staunch supporter of settlements in the West Bank.
Going right or left in Israel, serving Israel’s best is what Israeli’s are united for, even when they disagree.
It is true that he was able to cancel the appearance of a singer in his Residence for a racist song, but he cannot stop the racist bill that the Israeli government is pushing. Not to forget that the event that he is hosting is nothing but an affirmation of more provocation of anti – Arab sentiments amid Israelis.
On the other side stands Abbas, who also serves as a “peace dove”, but not amid an aggressive nation, but inside a nation that is under aggression.
Abbas wasn’t going to be received by applause if he cancelled a public event that he hosts in the same manner.
For certain instances I thought, Abbas does serve in the same direction, regardless to the fact that he doesn’t stand in a ceremonial position as a president, who also serves in all possible reigns of Palestinian governance; he is the president of the PLO, the president of Fatah, and in Palestine it is the Prime Minister who serves more of a ceremonial position considering the situation on the ground.
Yet, Abbas’s public appearances never seem to influence or affect the Palestinian sentiments, to say the least mine. Thinking of why, I tried to pull out to my memory the times I saw his appearances. Aside from the UN speeches that I think he scored twice since his reign as a president. He made some impressive interviews addressing Israeli public. He made very emotional speeches condemning Israeli deaths by Palestinian attackers (I don’t think he used the word terror or not yet). It took him a few hours to condemn the kidnapping of the 3 Israeli settlers and almost a week to appear to the Palestinian public and talk condemn the burning a killing of Mohammad Abu Khdeir.
Last week Youssef was found strangled and he appeared to the public the day after to condemn the killing of the Israelis in the synagogue.
Somehow, whether intentional or planned, Abbas’s public appearances don’t make him popular among people like myself. I am not sure if he perceives all Palestinians as Fatah people, and believes that the Palestinian audience at home is the same audience who applauds him in his Ramallah and Fatah gatherings.
While Rivlin is perceived now by the world including my alike as a peaceful loving person, his discourse is for the Israeli public not the others. When he disagrees with the government, and when he thinks that Israel is turning into a violent state, and when he cancels a racist appearance in a song, it is the Israeli man and woman, public, that he addresses. It serves him to the most, in presenting Israel in the best possible way.
What Abbas does is that he ignores the Palestinian sentiments. It is the outside word that he wants to convince. It is not that I think he is wrong. I think Abbas should be serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is a master in political diplomacy. IF he were facing an enemy to the least willing to negotiate more than Israel, things would have taken a peaceful solution since years. But a president, especially in a nation enclaved with continuous pain and miseries from its persisting occupation, needs to be a model to his own people first. He should reason with their minds and hearts.


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