The streets of New York City are filled with motorcades and security.
Seasoned New Yorkers know that the best way to navigate the city is to descend into the bowels of the earth and take the subway. Others get trapped behind barricades and count the minutes as they slowly go by watching helplessly while limousines whiz by and helicopters hover overhead.
It's the United Nations General Assembly (GA).
The annual gathering of global leaders and their entourages. It's their moment to shine.
Television cameras, radio mikes, online news outlets, everyone from everywhere wants to hear what these leaders have to say.
Speeches are given. Parties are planned. Formal meetings. Informal meetings. Secret meetings. And carefully planned "spontaneous" meetings.
In this world, nothing happens by accident. A "sudden" meet in a hallway, elbow brushing at a cocktail party, they have all been spoken about, debated and meticulously laid out with the precision of a military operation. and many parties are had.
Formal meetings have their place, but it often those termed informal that carry the most weight. It is those meetings that influence the ways of the world.
Having witnessed some of these serendipitous meetings I can tell you they took copious amounts of choreography in order to succeed.
As for the actual standing-behind-the-lectern speeches, those speeches are often directed at audiences not necessarily present at the U.N. General Assembly.
But this year, in his first presentation at the U.N., and his first meeting with most of the global leaders present at the GA, Israel’s Interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke directly to the crowd in the room.
Lapid is "interim" because he took over the position of prime minister after the coalition of then Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lost confidence and new elections were called.
He will remain in position until, at least, Nov. 1 of this year, when elections and a new Israeli government is formed.
Lapid spoke about hope and about the future. He spoke as a statesman and as a father. He spoke to the powerful leaders in the room and he spoke to the hearts of Israelis and of Palestinians.
He proposed peace and emphasized it. Yair Lapid said:
"I have a child with special needs. Her name is Yaeli. She is autistic.
She doesn’t speak. In May last year I had to wake her at 3 o’clock in the morning and run down with her to the bomb shelter, because missiles were exploding above our home.
"All those who preach about the importance of peace, are welcome to try running to a bomb shelter at 3 a.m. with a girl who does not speak. To explain to her, without words, why there are those who want to kill her.
"In this building, we’ve been asked more than once why we do not lift the restrictions on Gaza. We’re ready to do that, tomorrow morning.
"We’re ready to do more than that. I say from here to the people of Gaza, we’re ready to help you build a better life, to build an economy. We presented a comprehensive plan to help rebuild Gaza.
"We only have one condition: Stop firing rockets and missiles at our children. Put down your weapons, there will be no restrictions. Put down your weapons, bring home our children who are being held in captivity — Hadar and Oron, may their memory be a blessing; Avera and Hisham, who are still alive — and we will build your economy together.
"We can build your future together, both in Gaza and in the West Bank. Put down your weapons and prove that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not going to take over the Palestinian state you want to create. Put down your weapons, and there will be peace."
Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), in contrast asserted that Israel is not a partner and that peace is impossible. He repeated his mantra, again, at this year’s GA.
Abbas condemned Israel in his speech. He said that Israel "decided not to be a partner in the peace process. Israel does not believe in peace, it believes in creating a status quo through force and aggression, and therefore we have no partner with whom we can talk."
Abbas said that the trust of the Palestinians in achieving peace is weakening because of what he called "Israeli occupation policies" and called on the U.N. to "recognize full state membership for Palestine" and lay out a "plan to end the Israeli occupation."
And King Abdullah of Jordan outright lied in his speech. According to Jordan’s King: "Christianity is under attack in Jerusalem."
The King furthered his lie by saying: "The rights of churches in Jerusalem are threatened."
The only country in the Mideast where the Christian community is growing is Israel.
Everywhere else, the Christian community has shrunken to frightening numbers. Jordan once home to 1.5 million Christian, now has only a mere 150,000. Bethlehem was once 80% Christian, now only has a Christian population of 11%. The Christians have fled.
At the GA, speeches should be understood as a metaphor for what global leaders really want for their country.
Israel wants peace — Palestinian leaders want to attack Israel.
They want Israel to go away. Lapid may not represent Israel next year.
Next year and for every year the United Nations holds these assemblies Israel will pledge its desire for peace but it will also defend itself against enemies.
These issues are not mutually exclusive.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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