Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Israelis can't get excited over Annapolis.

"The Annapolis peace conference has managed to elicit a mood not normally associated with the Israeli public: indifference.

Unlike previous “peace extravaganzas” like Camp David, the Madrid Peace Conference, the various Oslo signings, average Israeli citizens haven’t been glued to their television sets and radios following their leaders’ movement and listening to the speeches and wondering how the dramatic events overseas will affect their lives. There’s no buzz.

Of all Israelis watching television during the afternoon’s live broadcasts of Annapolis, the total ratings of all of the channels which aired the events was the same as the audiences for the daily soaps. ..

Bring up the subject and you are in for a lot of shrugging and eye-rolling - and a rapid change of subject.

To make sure this wasn’t just happening in my own social circles, while going about my morning errands today, I decided to sound out Sagi, the owner of the corner store while I picked up my groceries. After the requisite shrug, eye-roll, and sigh, he confessed uncomfortably, “It’s not nice to say that you don’t care about what happens to the country. But we’re just tired. We’re tired of it all.”

And my reaction, so far, has reflected the mood on the Israeli street. I really don't hold my breath, nor do I exhale with ecstasy over this or that speech.

Mahmoud Abbass's speech made my eyebrow twitch, no more no less, so predictable and unoriginal it was, especially this part:

"Each one of you has his own her own personal pain, personal tragedy as a result of this conflict and as a result of the years of tragedy and occupation," said President Abbas. "These are very bitter years. Don't be depressed, don't lose confidence and hope, for the whole world today now is stretching its hand towards us in order to help us put and end to our tragedy, to our holocaust that has been running for too long."

Yada, yada, yada.. and we all know what comes next . . .


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