What should Abbas and Coveney talk about?

Nose to Nose

Assuming 😞 that efforts to persuade deputy head of government of Ireland and Government of Ireland second-most senior officer Tánaiste Simon Coveney to cancel his meeting with Mahmud Abbas fail, what should they talk about over coffee and biscuits?

Abbas performs a difficult tightrope act.

On one hand he has to convince Hamas and generations of Palestinians that through him they will eventually gain ‘return’ (even if they never lived there) and with it the eventual destruction of Israel, together with the death or expulsion of the Jews.

On the other he has to convince his backers that he is really the statesman of peace and so keep the money flowing in. Even worse than the drop in donations is the possibility that if he veers too far towards Hamas then Israel might drop the tacit support keeping him in power.

Tightrope walking requires skill and nerve, even if you have Abbas’s estimated $100 million in assets as a safety net. On the other hand he has been performing this circus act for a long, long time.

What questions should Coveney ask Abbas?

Prime minister, chief executive and head of government of Ireland, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar apparently wants to ask Abbas about gay rights in Palestine. There is an element of self-interest here as Varadkar has come out as gay†. It is not hard for Abbas to dodge that. Homosexuality is not illegal in the Fatah controlled West Bank but it is in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. LGBT rights are not protected in either.

Here are some further conversation suggestions from Five Minutes for Israel. Missed something? Please respond in the comments.

  1. Shortly after you accused Israel of creating a prayer space for Jews in al Aqsa mosque a 17-year-old stabbed a Jew claiming he was protect al Aqsa.
    1. What evidence do you have for your claim?
    2. Do you hold yourself in any way responsible when a minor goes out to kill in response.
  2. You condemned what you termed “Canadian interference” in internal Saudi affairs. How is that any different to requesting Irish interference in Israeli internal affairs?
  3. You approved a decree providing for prison terms of up to life for using digital means to harm ‘national unity’ or ‘social fabric’.
    1. What does that mean for freedom of expression in the Palestinian state?
    2. What is the fate of five journalists arrested on the basis of the new decree?
  4. How can you call for two states when you have no control, whatsoever in Gaza?
  5. Will you accept an ICC inquiry into Palestinian war crimes in return for Israel allowing the ICC to investigate it?
  6. Who is your preferred successor when you retire? OK that might be a joke.

Action items

  • Send a letter to President Higgins, Taniaste Coveney and Taoiseach Varadkar asking for the invitation to Abbas be revoked until the Palestinian Authority rejects violence and cancels the PA “pay-for-slay” reward system.
    Cancel Abbas visit to Dublin, The Action Network
  • If the visit goes ahead, keep SATURDAY free and join the DEMONSTRATION in DUBLIN! Ireland Israel Alliance is hosting. Give your SUPPORT! THANK YOU!
    Saturday, September 22 at 2:30 PM UTC+01
    Áras an Uachtaráin, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Dublin, Ireland

† For my curiosity, does that make him the highest-ranked openly gay politician, anywhere?


First posted at Five Minutes for Israel

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One comment

  1. Charlie in NY

    Here’s a question that needs to be asked publicly: in which city was the Temple from which Jesus expelled the money changers located?