By Alan Hart
In the song Mack the Knife there’s a line about a body on the sidewalk “oozing” life. Last night there was a body, a living one, oozing self-righteousness. It was not on the sidewalk. It was at the speaker’s podium in the General Assembly. It was that of His Excellency Mr. Ron Proser, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, presenting lies as truth before the vote which overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state.
Peace, he asserted, “is a central value of Israeli society.” He went on: “The bible calls on us, ‘seek peace and pursue it’. Peace fills our art and poetry. It is a taught in our schools. It has been the goal of the Israeli people and every Israeli leader since Israel was re-established 64 years ago.”
What crap! (Dictionary definition – “excrement, rubbish, dirt, worthless nonsense”).
But am I being fair to Proser? There’s a case for saying that I am not and it’s this. The Zionist (not Jewish) states does want peace, has always wanted peace. The problem is that it wants peace on its own terms, terms which require the surrender of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians to Zionism’s will; terms which give the them the choice of accepting a few crumbs from Zionism’s table or being removed from it in a final ethnic cleansing.
Until last night I thought that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was the personification of self-righteousness, but Proser is above even him in this field. Proser’s self-righteousness is not only in his words as he speaks them, it’s in his eyes and his whole body language.
The message I got from watching and listening to him was this: “I know I’m a self-righteous son-of-a-bitch, and I know you know I am, but I don’t care. My country is the nuclear-armed superpower of its region. We don’t give a damn about this UN General Assembly. Only the Security Council matters and we – our leaders in Israel and our lobby here in the U.S – have the ability and the means to see to it that every American president vetoes any proposal that comes before the Security Council which is not to our liking.”
But still I found myself applauding Proser for his performance, especially his concluding assertion that Israel wants peace and the Palestinians are “avoiding” it. Why?
The short answer was put into words by Yehoshafat Harkabi, Israel’s longest serving Director of Military Intelligence. In his book, Israel’s Fateful Hour, published in English in 1986, he wrote:
“No factor endangers Israel’s future more than self-righteousness, which blinds us to reality, prevents a complex understanding of the situation and legitimizes extreme behaviour.”
So I say to Proser, Netanyahu, Lieberman and others – bring it on. Let’s have more and more of your self-righteousness.