Giving moderation a bad name…writes Michael Kuttner

April 19, 2013 by Michael Kuttner
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 When is someone called a moderate not really one at all?

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Listening to the news, reading the newspapers or surfing the internet, one is bombarded almost on a daily basis by the pontifications of journalists and politicians alike who proclaim in all sincerity that our intended “peace partner,” Mahmoud Abbas, is a shining example of a moderate statesman to whom we must defer at all costs. He and the Authority he heads are portrayed as enlightened liberals whose democratic credentials are such that woe betide us ignorant Israelis if we ignore what seems to be so blindingly obvious to all these other “experts”.

Lest you think that I am putting the blame exclusively on the shoulders of foreign knee jerk media and politicians let me hasten to add that this hallucination of Abbas the moderate is promoted by many Israelis as well taking their lead no doubt from the President, Shimon Peres. Having seen his vision of a new Middle East basking in liberal and democratic garb, vanishing like the mirage it always was, he now dreams daily of embracing his partner Mr. Abbas as they both march together towards another mirage on the horizon. In an interview given for Independence Day, our President denied that Oslo which has resulted in thousands of deaths and maimed citizens was a disaster. On the contrary he was proud of the Oslo agreement because in his words “it resulted in the creation of a Palestinian peace camp…”  I kid you not – these are his exact words.

The questions of course which need to be asked are:

What is the name of this Palestinian peace camp?

Where is it?

Who are its members and spokespersons?

How many supporters does it have?

What profound statements have they made so far towards accepting the Jewish State as a natural part of the landscape?

How many demonstrations have they held in support of peace and where did they take place?

Do they have a website or any media support?

Has this peace camp been endorsed by any recognized Arab political figure and religious leader?

Have they condemned acts of terror against Israel and protested about the ongoing hate education in their schools?

In case anyone still thinks that Abbas is the epitome of a shining moderate, consider the following facts.

Is it accurate to be described as moderate when he has expressed no desire to  compromise on any substantive subject, runs away from any true peace efforts and issues anti Israel statements (in Arabic) ?

He glorifies terrorists.

Has no intention of abandoning the plan to destroy Israel by maintaining the right of millions of refugees and their descendants to return to Israel.

Refuses to recognize Israel as the Jewish State of the Jewish People.

Is complicit in falsifying history by rewriting and denying the Jewish connection to the Land stretching back over 3,000 years.

Promotes untruths about Jerusalem’s Jewish history and spreads false accusations about the “Judaization” of the city.

Ignores the destruction & desecration of Jewish sites in Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 and the denial of Jews to pray at the Western Wall.

Claims Jewish Holy sites as Islamic and denies their Jewish connections.

Claims to foreign sources that he has abandoned terror as a weapon, yet in Arabic his colleagues reserve the right to use terror in all its forms in order to achieve their objectives.

As number two to Arafat was complicit in all acts of terror perpetrated by the PLO over the years, including the Munich Olympic massacre.

Oversees the promotion of hate education in schools and Mosques.

He is a Holocaust denier. His PhD thesis cast doubts on the Holocaust. He has never officially repudiated it.

He has not made any effort to introduce Holocaust education into schools.

Abbas believes that by remaking history and claiming eternal victim hood, the international community can be persuaded to pressure Israel into giving him everything he demands. Therefore it is not necessary for him to compromise in any way.

His aim is to unite with Hamas, a well known terrorist organization whose Charter (and that of the PLO Fatah) calls for the destruction and elimination of Israel and Jews from the area.

His mandate as President expired some years ago.

He is unwilling & unable to enforce and guarantee any agreement which might be made.

His refusal to sit down and negotiate illustrates his real agenda.

His laying down of pre- conditions means that he is not serious about making any compromises.

By demanding that Israel agree beforehand to his ultimatums he dooms any negotiations and reveals his true agenda

Taking all these realities into account how on earth can any sensible person claim that our so called peace partner is a moderate?

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 works for The Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem.   


5 Responses to “Giving moderation a bad name…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Gil Solomon says:


    Michael Kuttner has written a brilliant piece exposing the myth of Abbas as a moderate and in the process exposed Shimon Peres as the left wing idealogue that he always was and still is.

    Peres has undermined Israel’s position world wide and would be more suited working for the Obama administration. In addition, his statements give ideas to the enemies of Israel on what to do should they not get their way. In this regard, the following is an extract from an article in the SMH of 12/1/2013 (prior to the recent elections), under the heading “Peres says Netanyahu is undermining peace”.

    “JERUSALEM: Shimon Peres, the Israeli President and Nobel Laurate, has attacked the government of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, claiming it is unwilling to make peace with the Muslim world and instead risks the outbreak of a new Palestinian uprising.
    Intervening in the country’s general election campaign, Israel’s elder statesman warned of the perils of isolating Israel itself from the US.
    The US President, Barack Obama was ‘not convinced’ that Israel’s current leaders truly wanted peace, Mr Peres said.”

    The article in the SMH goes on but I couldn’t be bothered quoting the rest.

    In reality, Peres speaks not only for Obama but himself when he states that he is not convinced that the current government wants peace. Thank God this man is in no position to affect policy direction.

    Suffice to say that in my opinion, Shimon Peres’ statements constantly undermine the Government’s stance in the international arena, yet many still give this man the benefit of the doubt! This to me is just mind boggling.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      what you say makes, once again, perfect sense. I did qualify m comments by saying that Peres could be seen as a frustrated irrelevant para-politician.
      And, once again, his position, while not determinant, could be taken as a positive in the sense of NOT allowing Israel to be seen as a block of intransigence. I am not at all worried about the likelyhood of today’s position by the policy makers in Israel being at all compromised by Peres.
      I strongly believe that Israel’s position geopolitically at present is stronger than ever and that the palestinian camp, in spite of the formal advancements at the UN, for example, has reached its lowest webb in recent times.
      The recent developments in the Islaimic world have determined tectonic ripples within the Western World, the types that are only benefficial to Israel. Within the Israeli political scene the direction has been prevalent toward a detachment from concessions to the palestinians. Inside Israel there are more problems of the religious kind rather than “external”.
      I would be just as irritated by what Peres says occasionally, in the vein you mentioned , but I am seriously more confident than ever that the actual Government in Jerusalem is conducting its policies with little regard to any possible distraction even if comes from the office more or less next door.
      Otherwise, I repeat, you are right, Peres makes for an annoying interlude.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:


    you are absolutely right in saying that Peres’ ostensive statements would encourage, give oxygen to those who would interpret them as an endorsement of Abbas and his obstructive policies, in fact downright anti Israeli stances.
    For a while yet, I want to indulge in a bit more of a naive and optimistic position, but will keep your observations very active on my mind……………
    I am, however, pretty happy with the concrete fact that Pares does NOT determine the actual policies of the Jewish State, his open statements as the President notwithstanding. On the other hand, could it be that, in spite of the fact that formally he holds the highest position in the Land, precisely the fact that he cannot determine the policies as such would frustrate him and elicit such grand standing……….

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    Michael Kuttner

    a very good presentation, both in terms of ethical standards and concise/comprehensive arguments.
    Yours is a clear text book list all advocates for Israel should note.

    I would add that , in logic, there is a cathegory of fallacies called “Argument of moderation” which also relates to a “Overton Window theory”, all quite aptly related to your arguments.
    In simple terms, moderation is a fallacy in certain cases, political most common.

    I would also only venture that, out of a positive, optimistic perpesctive, Shimon Peres’ ostensive confidence in Abbas could be seen as a mere PR exercise of presenting an Israel willing to accept possibilities ( as quite distinct from effectively trusting the palestinians ) of reasonable negotiations counter- parts ( emphassis on “counter” ).

  4. Gil Solomon says:

    Shimon Peres firmly believes that Abbas is a partner for peace and according to media reports that “no one will change my opinion about him”.

    The world forgets that when Yasser Arafat was caught out calling for jihad in Arabic to his assembled throng, it was Peres who went to his immediate defence by saying that Arafat was really calling for a jihad for peace!

    Unfortunately many in the Jewish world, not only Shimon Peres, have taken leave of their senses to indulge in fantasies such as this.

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