sari nusseibeh’s appeal
The person most often cited as a Palestinian moderate is Professor Sari Nusseibeh, scion of an aristocratic Muslim family in Jerusalem. Nusseibeh was the main author of “The Appeal,” a newspaper ad financed by the European Union and signed by a group of Palestinian intellectuals, that purportedly asks Palestinians to cease terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Micah Halpern says Nusseibeh may be a moderate, and he may be a pacifist—but to the majority of Palestinians he’s a laughing stock: The appeal: a Palestinian hoax.
Sari Nusseibeh is one of the most non-mainstream personalities in Palestinian society. He has no following, he has no backing and he has zero popularity. He is the butt of many jokes and does not have anything behind him other than his family name. He is benignly tolerated by his Palestinian colleagues in government and politics. “Oh, Sari,” they usually say with a knowing nod of their heads. Even the position he holds as Palestinian Authority Jerusalem Representative is temporary. As was related to me by a senior Palestinian Authority personality: “in our democratic Palestinian system Sari will be in office until Faisal Husseini’s (the previous holder of the position and member of another prominent Jerusalem family) son is old enough to assume the post of his father.”
True democracy in action.
Sari Nusseibeh will never achieve true leadership within Palestinian society simply because he is so very attractive to American and Israeli society. What makes him attractive to the world outside the confines of Palestinian society is the kiss of death within his own people. He is a moderate in a world where moderates are not at all popular. He is a pacifist where pacifists are shunned. He is a compromiser where compromise is considered failure and a sign of weakness.
Most importantly he is a realist where no one sees reality.
One of the signatures that appeared on “The Appeal” was “Dr. Saadiye Tahle,” who was in actuality not a doctor. Saadiye Tahle was the village idiot of Gaza, an object of pity and ridicule. And she’s dead.