Akiva Eldar
Haaretz (Opinion)
August 22, 2011 - 12:00am

One can only hope that the prime minister will not ask his deputy, Moshe Ya'alon, to settle the dispute with Egypt in the wake of the incident in the south. According to Ya'alon's doctrine of international relations, under which "honor is a national asset," Cairo should be consigned to hell. Just as in the matter of the refusal to apologize to the Turks, standing tall and marching in the direction of lowering the level of diplomatic relations with the largest Arab country will without a doubt raise Israel's prestige in Washington and in Paris, and will deter Damascus and Tehran. When the neighbors' actions are motivated by honor, rather than by their interests, with Israeli arrogance, we call this "Arab honor."

The encounter between the Egyptians' prestige and the Israeli leadership's arrogance ignited the big blaze in October 1973. Egypt's honor required erasing the insult of the loss of the Sinai Peninsula, and then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir's arrogance shut her ears to the peace signals from the late Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat. The thousands of victims exacted by that war did not succeed in curing the Israelis of the curse of arrogance. It sticks its nose up so high that it blocks the view around the corner - until the next violent clash.

The protest by the hundreds of Egyptians who are surrounding the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was not born during this past week. For decades, they have been watching Jewish settlers stealing lands that belong to Arabs, with the permission and the blessing of the government of Israel. All these years, the Arab commentators have been reminding the newspaper readers in the Arab countries that the Israelis deceived the Egyptians at Camp David in ignoring the Palestinian chapter in the agreement. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is threatening to revoke the Oslo agreement. It is a wonder he is not threatening to revoke the peace agreement with Egypt.

Two weeks ago, viewers of Al Jazeera watched Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon, of the ruling party in Israel, declare the Jewish people's right to all of the land of Israel, and to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank ) in particular. Danon, who was introduced by his title of World Likud Chairman, asserted that the idea of two states to the west of the Jordan River was utter nonsense.

On the weekend, the Arabs learned that Danon, Lieberman and company are not alone. With a wave of arrogance, MK Shelly Yachimovich, who is vying for the Labor Party crown, granted a social-democratic certificate of kashrut to the settlements and their products. The young colleagues among the social revolutionaries of Rothschild Square, who are demanding social justice, are not evincing interest in the appalling lack of justice towards the Palestinian neighbors.

And this is not all. On Wednesday Israeli public figures will participate in a demonstration of support for Israel, moderated by Glenn Beck, the American preacher-broadcaster who recently declared that Jordan is Palestine. The event, of course, will take place with a mass audience and with television crews in East Jerusalem at the foot of the Temple Mount / Al Aqsa Mosque.

Cabinet ministers, among them Deputy Prime Minister Ya'alon, and Knesset members, among them MK Anat Wilf of Atzmaut, until lately of the Labor Party, alongside Kahanist MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ) have stood in line to have their pictures taken in the company of the extremist broadcaster who is one of the biggest haters of U.S. President Barack Obama.

They have from whom to learn. Just a short time ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a display from the podium of the House of Representatives of arrogance towards the (short-term, in his opinion ) tenant of the White House. The encounter between Israeli arrogance (and its sister, euphoria ) and ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's duplicitous policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict facilitated maintaining relations with Egypt, as though there were no occupation in the territories, and maintaining the occupation as though there were no Camp David agreement.

The channel between Cairo and Jerusalem remained open even after Netanyahu, in his arrogance, appointed as his foreign minister a politician who holds the patent on the proposal to bomb the Aswan Dam. The new Egyptian government's fear of the reaction by the United State has kept the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv - for now.

This time, the Israeli arrogance is encountering the honor of an Arab street that is undermining the old order. When they see on television Israeli soldiers fighting Arab children on the day after the declaration of a Palestinian state in the UN, the dissidents in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria and Libya will not be cracking sunflower seeds in front of the television. I hope I will be proven wrong.


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