When I posted my piece yesterday I did not, of course, expect for a moment that Mahmoud Abbas,chairman of the Palestinian Authority, would read it, or even hear of it.
I do not speak Arabic, so rely on what I have heard on Israel radio, and read on various news websites, in this reaction to Mr. Abbas’ speech yesterday evening.
So my impression is that he is the exact antithesis of the sort of pragmatic leader that I wrote about yesterday. After his speech it is clear that he is fixed in the old paradigm of NO, NO, NO, reminiscent of Khartoum, and entrenched in worn out rhetoric.
Who did he think to inspire by what he said, other than those ready with fingers on the trigger?
Well, some have mentioned on the radio (and in this newspaper) that this may well have been a valedictory speech, and if Mr. Abbas was sincere, that may leave the stage open for someone with some plain common sense,who can see on which side the bread is buttered,and know where the butter comes from.
I will close with the last two lines of a Leonard Cohen song:
“And all the rain falls down amen
On the works of last year’s man”