This one is really good, and the best part of it is, you’re paying for it.
The live, direct, and totally-in-person Direct Middle East Peace Talks kicked off this week in the USA, featuring Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and Mahmoud “Madman” Abbas, refereed by Hillary Clinton and the Statesdudes of Foggy Bottom. President Barack Obama got to have a really cool photo op on a red carpet, in which he was taller than, like, everybody. For a few minutes, US pundits talked about something besides the unemployment rate and his declining poll numbers.
Abroad, on the eve of the red-carpet photo op, the inexcusable existence of Israel caused a desperate Hamas, starving yet noble inmate-warden of Gaza Prison, to murder four Israelis (one of them a pregnant woman) in cold blood in the West Bank. Mahmoud “Madman” Abbas stepped right up to the plate to communicate through a spokesman that this attack underlined “the need to proceed quickly toward a just and lasting peace agreement” in order to “put an end to these acts,” because he’s just that kind of humanitarian. Meanwhile, over in Iran, the Direct Talks coincided with the annual Al Qods (Jerusalem) Day festival, in which rent-a-mobs shout hysterically as the revolutionary regime invokes death on Israel and the Great Satan.
Things were lame and boring, as they always are, back in the USA. But Americans were getting to participate, just as if we were right there in the Middle East in person, in a really exciting and personal way. We were broadcasting video ads in Israel, featuring peace-loving Palestinians greeting viewers with “shalom” and saying awesomely peaceful things!
And not just peaceful things – sanctimonious, rebuke-implying things. We were, in effect, broadcasting Barbara Boxer commercials at Israelis. And giving them a Mr. Rogers twist, which readers will recognize below. Says Jerusalem Post:
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Abed Rabbo and Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub have recorded short messages, all of which begin with a personal address to the Israeli public which includes the word “shalom” in Hebrew and conclude with “I am your partner. Are you my partner?”
In the clips, the Palestinians speak about what they label missed opportunities and ensuing disappointments as well as potential perils of missing the current opportunity to reach an agreement based on the two-state solution.
For those Israelis who may eschew the internet or TV, images conveying this message have been helpfully deployed on billboards.
Technically, the Geneva Initiative came up with the ad campaign to make Israelis reflect on whether they, themselves, were the partners of the Palestinian Arab politicians. The video spots are presented as “partner requests” at the Geneva Initiative’s Hebrew website. There is no sign of a parallel effort to induce reflection in, or otherwise appeal to, Palestinian Arabs.
But USAID, the State Department’s disbursements window, funded the ad campaign to the tune of $250,000. The creepy info-themery of Team Obama spreads ever outward, permeating even the most ancient haunts of divine revelation and human rivalry with its 1970s-th’owback shtick. If the Palestinian leadership won’t help itself, Team Obama will make sure someone shows up with a video camera, professional lighting, and a script – not to change anything about the Palestinian leadership’s character for the better, but to induce a mood in the Israelis next door.
And the US taxpayer comes through again.
Cross-posted at Hot Air.