Palestinian Leadership: It Is Forbidden to Normalize Relations with Israel
Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who planned to hold a conference in Jerusalem and Bethlehem this week were forced to cancel the event after receiving threats from Palestinians.
The conference was organized by the Israeli Palestinian Confederation, a group that seeks to promote peace and coexistence between the two peoples.
The organizers of the conference were hoping to hold elections for a new "parliament" that would consist of Israelis and Palestinians and that would offer itself as a third government to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
The first conference, which was supposed to take place at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem, was cancelled at the last minute after angry Palestinian protesters demonstrated in front of the hotel. The protesters shouted slogans denouncing the event "because it promotes the culture of peace" and is designed to "normalize" relations between Israelis and Palestinians.
The demonstrators also shouted slogans strongly condemning Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh, who was supposed to be one of the main speakers at the conference. Because of the protest and out of fear for his safety, Nusseibeh decided not to come to the hotel.
The Palestinian protesters later stormed the conference hall, forcing the frightened Israeli representatives to leave the hotel.
The following day, a similar "anti-normalization" demonstration forced the Israeli and Palestinian peace activists to cancel an event that was scheduled to take place in the town of Bet Jalla near Bethlehem.
The protesters later explained that their move was in line with the Palestinian Authority's policy of banning any form of normalization with Israel. This is the same authority that signed the Oslo Accords with Israel and whose senior leaders carry Israeli-issued VIP cards that enable them to move around freely – a privilege denied to most ordinary Palestinians.
Some Palestinians said that the demonstrations were in fact initiated by top Palestinian officials in Ramallah who do not want to see Israeli and Palestinian representatives working together to promote peace and coexistence.
By banning such public gatherings, the Palestinian Authority leadership is further radicalizing Palestinians.
This was not the first time that the Palestinian Authority or some NGOs had come out against activities that supposedly promote normalization between Israelis and Palestinians. Over the past few years, they have cancelled many events of this type under the charge that it is forbidden to normalize relations with Israel.
The Palestinian Authority and these NGOs are also coordinating their activities with other "anti-normalization" groups in the Arab world, specifically Jordan and Egypt.
At the end of the day, it is such activities that drive Arabs into the open arms of Muslim fundamentalists. The "anti-normalization" campaign also serves to undermine the minority of moderate Arabs who still believe in coexistence and peace.
The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is shooting itself in the foot. In the future, its representatives will be afraid to return to the negotiating table or conduct dialogue with any Israel out of fear for their lives. If Palestinian academics such as Nusseibeh are afraid to appear in public with Israelis such as Uri Avineri, Ruth Dayan and Shlomo Ben-Ami, this speaks volumes about where Palestinian society is headed.
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz