Moshe Sharon is a professor of early Islamic history at Hebrew University and the author of several books. He has been lecturing to one government of Israel after another that when they negotiate with the Arabs they must remember that they are negotiating in a Middle Eastern Bazaar, not in Washington DC or in Brussels, Belgium, the capital of the European Union.
For those who have forgotten or never knew, Mr. Sharon was the only Arabic speaking person at the peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt. As Sharon tells his audience often, at that time, The treaty was signed in Washington , D.C.on the 26th of March 1979.
One time, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, said to Sharon, in Arabic, “This is a [Middle East] market. Tell your prime minister.” What Sadat was telling Israel, explains Sharon, to learn the language of the Arab bazaar, but Israel never has learned. Because Israel hardly ever listens.
On October 5, 2006, Professor Sharon wrote the article, ‘No peace, No peace plans, No price for Peace (A short guide to those obsessed with peace).
On June 23, 2011 yours truly wrote the article Bizarre Bazaar, But as it is, Sharon and myself are speaking to the wall.
Recently, the Blogger Arlene Kushner attended the yearly Anglo Likud event at the Begin Center, in Jerusalem in which Professor Sharon was one of the speakers. There, again, Professor Sharon has illuminated and outlined the key principles of that bazaar, in which Israel is negotiating.
The Arabs, says Sharon, use tricky language, with more sophistication than almost any other people, and have been doing so for 2,000 years. They use this linguistic skill in order to lie – the Arabic term is they are using taqiyya – and it works well for them. “Lying is the salt of a man,” is an Arabic saying; as if a man’s merit is instill in his ability to lie successfully.
The Arabs have been attempting to sell to Israel peace, which they do not possess, for there is no intent for peace with the Arabs. And Israel has been trying to buy, ready to pay high price, for this item of peace that does not exist.
Perhaps the rules of engagement, when negotiating in a bazaar, need to be repeated ad nausiam, so they finally sink in.
In a Middle East bazaar the seller has an item for sale and he needs to make the buyer think that he wants it more than he really does, at all cost.
Here is the essence of such negotiation:
Here it is worthwhile interim a short story. When Israel was negotiating with Egypt, President Carter pushed Begin to include Jerusalem in the negotiations. Begin said to Carter, “Give me five minutes.” “Take as much time as you need!” enthused Carter replied. “No,” explained Begin, “five minutes is all we need to pack our suitcases.” [and leave!] The subject of Jerusalem was dropped by Carter to never be brought up again.
At all times Israel must remember that in the Middle East bazaar an agreement means nothing. Among many other, Anwar Sadat also said, “I gave Menachem Begin a piece of paper and he gave me all I asked for, the entire Sinai.” If the Arabs really want peace, they must give hard assets in return. Israel must demand to receive even more than they can give.
Professor Sharon warns that Israel shows too much eagerness to obtain peace, and that the other side, perceiving this, keeps raising the price. In the Middle East bazaar the price goes up, automatically, when the buyer shows his or her keenness buy the item in question.
If the time should ever come when the Arabs sincerely seek peace, then they will see it as it has value and they will be prepared to give something in return to secure it.
Until then, Israel needs to keep on practicing being the owner of a stall in a Middle East bazaar and wait for the customer, the Arabs, to approach her and indicate they are ready to buy.