I couldn’t believe the stuff carried in the papers this morning about the palava in parliament yesterday. MPs are “absolutely” incensed that our foreign minister shook hands with the Israeli foreign minister on the sidelines of a meeting at the UN. That minister being female and and Israeli is a double whamy for them. I guess the Muslim Brotherhood MPs could possibly forgive him for shaking hands with an Israeli, but an Israeli woman is a no no.
Anyway, the foreign minister was upfront about it and explained the country’s position when the story broke and the newspapers had their pound of flesh. Now it’s the MP’s turn to have theirs. Who’s been trusted with this task; however? Well it’s the plagiarist of course! He’s heading the “Boycott Israel” camp in parliament and wants his few minutes in the limelight. Well he’s got it with a bang. But he obviously didn’t bank on being mauled by the minister in the process… so from “demanding” that the minister washes his hands 7 times, one of which with sand – a reference to cleansing oneself from touching the muzzle of a dog, an unclean part according to Islam, and a reference to Jews being unclean as far as he’s concerned, he’s now saying that he just suggested it so that Shaikh Khalid purifies himself after touching the “dirty” (Jewess) Livni.
Brilliant isn’t it? We should set up a stall at the entrance of the parliament chambers and sell palm-sized rocks or at least some pebbles to increase the fun. This is Politics 101 Bahraini style!
One chooses to label other human beings as low as dogs and as unclean as his persuasion makes him believe, while the other calls parliamentarians as hypocritical killers – in reference probably to Hamas too being of the Muslim Brotherhood persuasion and that they are terrorists I presume; hence his outburst of “the blood of Palestinians are on your hands” – but the jury’s still out until he explains the comments thrown.
The end result? Well, Palestine is still occupied, Israel continues to exist while some Bahrainis still sleep with hunger pangs, live in houses some of which have been categorised as condemned, thousands are still without jobs, various reforms are stagnant, and freedom robbing laws are still in existence and parliament ignores all of that and passes a resolution to sever all links with the Jewish Enemy.
Here I am thinking that one has to keep lines of communications open with even an enemy in order to reach an amicable solution.
Keeping that in mind, I honestly do not see the problem in our foreign minister meeting with the Israelis at an international location on the sidelines of an international conference especially as the meeting was not solely bilateral but included 8 other Arab countries. I could even excuse him for meeting “the enemy” in bilateral talks if the result of that meeting was some good coming to Palestine and Bahrain, especially when the Palestinian leadership themselves know about this meeting and have condoned it.
Demanding – as the parliament has done by passing a resolution to the effect – never to have any contact in whatsoever form with Israel is nonsensical and impractical. This is politics after all and a country must look after its own interests first and foremost and use its influence to bring points of view closer, even between enemies.
It’s a very emotive issue. Of course it is. But parliament and senior politicians should never allow themselves to be dragged into situations like this. This shakes the country’s confidence in the organisations they represent even more than the level they enjoy at the moment. At the very best, this outburst from both sides will busy the whole country for days on end needlessly and shove the important issues they should be discussing to the back of the queue, once again.
This is a government and a parliament with grasshopper attention span. Let’s see what the following few days will hold for us. Big smiles and hugs probably while the cauldron of emotions continue to bubble and each waiting for the other to slip.