What do Obama and Abbas have in common?

A truth that dare not speak its name

Short answer – both are grovellers (definition in a moment). The president of the United States of America grovels to the Zionist lobby and its neo-con and Christian fundamentalist allies. The Palestinian “president” grovels to Obama as well as Israel’s leaders more often than not. Obama and Abbas are, one could say, grovelling twins, but if there was the equivalent of a Nobel Prize for grovelling, it would have to be awarded to Obama. (If when he leaves office Israel is still able to impose its will on the occupied and oppressed Palestinians, I think he should hand back the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded).

The idea for this article was inspired by Daud Abdullah in a piece he wrote for the Middle East Monitor. His main point was that the Palestinian national reconciliation talks have become a “process” and that like the peace process “they are without progress and an apparent end… As long as Abbas continues to grovel to the Americans and Israelis, it (a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation and unity) will remain an illusion.”

The Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1843-1881) had one of his characters say that the choice was “either to be a hero or grovel in the mud – there was nothing in between.”

I’ll get to my suggestion about what Abbas could do to become a hero in a moment but first let’s explore the terminology.

The notion of grovelling apparently comes from the Old Norse language – a grufu meaning face down. (The Norsemen were early Scandinavians and during the Mediaeval period some of them travelled to the British Isles to trade, raid and settle.┬áIn the final decade of the 8th century, Norse raiders attacked a series of Christian monasteries located in the British Isles).

In the most literal sense grovellers are face down, lying or crawling on the ground in abject humility or fear.

As perceived by people today who use the terminology, a groveller is one who behaves in a demeaning and servile (slave-to-master) way, often apologizing when no apology is needed. Put another way, when an American says, “Kiss my arse” (which is more or less what the Zionist lobby says to Obama from time to time), the groveller is one who responds positively and says, “I’ll do whatever you want.”

So to the question: What could Abbas do to end his grovelling and become a hero?

In the coming days, and the sooner the better, he could say, in the most polite and gentle way possible, something like the following.

If President Obama is coming here without a concrete plan to get a real peace process going, I regret to say there will be no point in me meeting with him.”

I would also have Abbas say in his statement that a concrete plan to get a real peace process started would not be enough on its own. And I would have him explain why as follows.

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