Can Netanyahu and Abbas Reveal The "Hidden Country"?

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestine's President Abbas gave back to back speeches last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly, a highly controversial event with Palestine's bid for formal recognition. As a scientist, such matters are far too complex for me, as they are embedded with layers of subtlety and inscrutable politics. I am much more comfortable in a world driven by logic and data.

My young children have been learning about the Israel-Palestinian conflict in various contexts and have shared these discussions with me. How can our next generation understand or process these cross dialogues, with leaders talking at each other and often avoiding genuine communication?

As powerful as words can be, art can sometimes bring new perspectives. My fourth grade daughter explored this topic with the painting below, evolving naturally and spontaneously. I asked what is was, and she said "Hidden Country."


"Hidden Country" by Gabrielle Epstein-Toney, acrylic.

If anything, this Hidden Country can be viewed as a beautiful, peaceful place. Can it ever be realized?

But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speech at the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, following Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech.

We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.

Abbas Speech At UN General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2011

More like this

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, said, in Arabic to a Palestinian audience: In the past, they said: "Under no circumstances will we accept a state, unless it includes all of Palestine, because Palestine is a land of Islamic endowment." Fine. This doesn't work. I can say: "…
One of the problems I have with the U.S.'s self-appointed Jewish leadership is that too many of them appear to believe that Israel will be annihilated at any moment. In today's NY Times, Daniel Gavron puts that fear in context: While it is true that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,…
There's plenty of science and religion stuff out there, but I think talking about anything else right now would be to ignore the elephant in the room. There's a basic moral principle that I subscribe to that goes like this: When your neighbor is relentlessly firing rockets at you in an attempt to…
A theme of Season 4 of The Wire is the way that we create programs that work, and then let those programs fall apart for lack of political will. (I suppose that's the lesson of "Hamsterdam" in season 3, as well.) Mr. Presbo took a student under his wing, helped him clean up his life, brought him…

So the representative from the country that assassinated Count Bernadotte is credible to you, is he?

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 26 Sep 2011 #permalink