Sunday, May 6, 2007

Shafted. Or, How to Shaft.

Masters of one-upsmanship, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity for revenge, even if it is of the diplomatic sort.
Palestinian officials in Bethlehem have alleged that the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, refused to meet mayor of Bethlehem, Victor Batarsi, during his tour of the Palestinian territories.
Alleged nothing. Since the German foreign minister didn't meet with the mayor, there is no "alleged" about anything. Anyway, here's the unforgivable crime.
According to the mayor's office, the FM described Bartarsi [sp] as an "undesirable personality".
Hard to imagine that Batarsi, who is a member of the arch-terrorist group PFLP, could be "undesirable" in any way. Regardless, in these parts a personal insult becomes a national crisis.
Batarsi described the German position as an insult to the Palestinian people.
Insulting a terrorist = insulting all Palestinians. He does have a point there, but it seems his fragile ego is a bit inflated. Now, let the revenge offensive begin.
He says "I address the whole world: telling them that Bethlehem has only one formal representative, the Mayor, and he who does not want to meet with the mayor is persona non grata because the municipality, which was elected democratically, represents all the people of Bethlehem."
You don't snub me! I snub YOU!!!
A huge banner was erected in manger square, in the centre of Bethlehem, which said in Arabic, English and German: "Whoever boycotts Bethlehem Municipality is not welcomed in the Town of the Nativity."
You go, girl. That's tellin' him. But, of course, there's more.
Batarsi also affirmed that he will send a message to Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Palestinian leadership asking them to take a united position against the boycotting of municipalities.
In doing this, one will have no choice but to visit the little mayor, bless his heart.
Batarsi added, "The international community has to pay respect to the Palestinian democratic process and not boycott the municipality of Bethlehem."
You got that world? You must respect terrorists and you must meet with them. But what about the original charge that the German foreign minister made that supposedly started all of this?
An official German source has denied that the German foreign minister dubbed the mayor of Bethlehem an "undesirable personality".
Oh well. But like they say, if the shoe fits...