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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Palestinian Arab group succeeds in torpedoing peace concert

An idealistic organization named OneVoice is dedicated to ending the PalArab/Israeli conflict on a grassroots level, through cooperation between the two peoples.

OneVoice planned a set of twin concerts for yesterday, in Tel Aviv and Jericho, to advance its agenda. The Israeli side enthusiastically embraced the idea, but things were a bit more difficult on the PalArab side:
Palestinian civil society groups claimed victory Wednesday after the collapse of a planned pair of concerts in support of negotiations with Israel.

Opposition from Palestinian activist groups and high-profile mismanagement resulted in the cancellation of the OneVoice People's Summit, a concert event planned to take place in Tel Aviv and Jericho simultaneously. The concerts were originally scheduled for Thursday.

The event's stated purpose was to call for the implementation of "a two state solution." The concerts signed on such acts as Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams, and the popular Palestinian hip hop group DAM. The sponsoring organization, One Million Voices, boasted the support of notables including former UN High Comissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, US envoy Dennis Ross, and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat.

A range of Palestinian groups, under the auspices of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), succeeded in persuading several high-profile artists, including DAM, to withdraw from the concert.
The major thesis of OneVoice is that most people on both sides want peace. PACBI feels differently.

Like the current crop of Palestinian Arab negotiators, PACBI believes that everything is Israel's fault and as a result the Arab side has no responsibilities. The natural outcome of that is that they are against any group that actually advocates compromise, no matter how vaguely worded.

On their website they have a brochure, in Arabic only, that tries to explain to Palestinian Arab kids not to participate in any joint Arab/Israeli peace programs. The document justifies bus bombings as legitimate "resistance," specifically, "the resistance, in all its forms, is a legitimate right for all peoples of the occupied protected by international law, including international human rights instruments."

Both sides claim the majority of Palestinian Arabs support their side. Apparently, in this case at least, the terrorist supporters seemed to have more clout.