Days of our Lives…writes Michael Kuttner

June 15, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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Like an endless soap opera which never seems to conclude, the latest episode starring at least two actors who are recycled ad nauseum has just concluded. Filmed in the garden of the Vatican and directed by Pope Francis it featured a multicultural cast of extras as well as spectators from the world media.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

As could be expected the event was choreographed flawlessly and advertised as a love fest of peace and brotherly love. What could be more spectacular than Jews, Muslims and Christians praying for peace?

As far as Jews are concerned we pray for peace at least 3 times a day and our liturgy is replete with expressions of peace. We have no desire to engage in Crusades, missionary campaigns or Jihad to convert the “unbeliever” and instead pray for the time when all nations will share in the joy of universal peace in Jerusalem and nations will no longer lift up swords against each other.

Given the sorry history of the Jewish experience over the last two thousand years it is hard to be enthusiastic over a Hollywood style production produced in the Vatican. However in the interests of goodwill and prepared to acknowledge the genuine desire of the current Pope to bring reconciliation to the Middle East the intended prayer meeting seemed to be a harmless exercise and perhaps beneficial gesture towards tolerance. In order for this to succeed it needed for the two main actors to be at least on the same page in the prayer book and to display some sort of reality and genuine desire for a peace which is mutually acceptable.

So let us more closely examine the star qualities of these two actors in this Vatican production.

First we have Shimon Peres who must be the oldest and longest running thespian on the world stage and has starred in almost every episode since 1948. His earliest starring roles covered a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from high drama, thrillers and action scenarios to tragedies and science fiction. The Oslo tragedy represented his most coveted part for which he received the equivalent of an Oscar, namely the Nobel Peace Prize. With his reluctant supporting actor, the late Yitzhak Rabin, he shared his prize with the greatest terrorist of the time, the late unlamented Arafat. Instead of realizing that the award to Arafat was fraudulent he embraced his new found peace partner and basked in the plaudits of a hypocritical and double standards international community. This inability to discern fact from fiction marked an ever more frenetic venture into the territory of science fiction. Despite the terror which Oslo caused and in spite of death and tragedies inflicted by Arafat and his cohorts, he continued to star in what one can only call science fiction productions where reality is suspended and visions of galactic hallucinations prevailed. Thus, when the Pope offered him a prime role on the world stage he leapt in ecstatic joy to accept this once in a lifetime opportunity.

The second actor in this Vatican performance was Mahmoud Abbas the President of the Palestinian Arab Authority whose term of office expired over five years ago. He also has starred in many roles over the years. Trained in Moscow where his thesis belittling the Holocaust earned him universal acclaim he eventually rose in the ranks to become Arafat’s deputy. In this role he starred in the action packed thriller called murder at Munich. Whilst he did not actually participate in the actual action, as Arafat’s deputy he is responsible for its conception and aftermath. With the demise of Arafat, Abbas was a natural to take over as the leading actor in the unfolding dramas connected with terror and the dissemination of hate and delegitimisation via the PA media. His Mufti spewed forth almost daily venom against Jews and Judaism which did not result in any denunciation thereby confirming to all but those totally detached that Abbas and his thespian attempts to fool the worldwide audience was nothing but a sham.

Given this background of the two main prayer participants any level headed person in the audience should have questioned the cast and wondered how they could engage in a genuine plea for peace based on mutual respect. Those of us who are no longer amazed at the depths to which most politicians can sink were therefore not surprised when the international community convulsed in anticipation of this forthcoming farce.

Watching Peres embracing Abbas I almost expected him to burst forth with the Christian hymn, “how great thou art”. Likewise we could have expected Abbas to warble “Noel, noel, praise Shimon the King of Israel (aka as occupied Palestine).

I have no doubt that President Peres truly believes that the messianic vision of peace and brotherhood is within reach and that Abbas is the designated vehicle for bringing this about. Treading well rehearsed scripts accompanied by musical interludes of heavenly music and selected prayer passages the actors involved under the direction of the Pope managed to ring down the curtain on a starry eyed and media successful performance.

Has all this brought us any closer to the desired goal?

The lights had hardly dimmed when Abbas issued his latest manifestations of true intentions. He called on the Arab and Muslim world to make quick decisions and take practical steps in order to protect the Al Aksa Mosque. He condemned the “settler and extremist Knesset members’ attacks” against the Temple Mount by means of Israeli “occupier” soldiers and encouraged by the Israeli Government and warned against the danger of the excavations taking place beneath the mosque which he claims are likely to lead to the structure caving in at any moment.

These continually recycled libels hardly sound as though they are in harmony with the sideshow staged at the Vatican. Have a look at these links (courtesy of PMW) and assess whether the “prayers” offered up are nothing more than spin and lies as confirmed by a former Hamas spokesman.


Like all good soap opera actors, Abbas and Peres will carry on as long as the audience is there to lap it all up. Only when the ratings plunge will we get some blessed relief. The question is how many more nauseas acts do we have to sit through?

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.







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