Palestinian Authority officials here expressed concern on Wednesday over attempts by Hamas and other Palestinian radical groups to create a new PLO at a conference due to take place in Syria and the Gaza Strip early next month.Notice how the PA official accidentally acknowledges that the current PLO is only considered by "many" PalArabs as their representative, not "most."
The officials told The Jerusalem Post that they were trying to persuade the Syrian government to ban the conference.
They called on the Arab countries and the US to join their efforts to thwart the planned conference.
The conference, which will bring together several Palestinian "rejectionist" groups, has been called in response to the US-sponsored peace conference, which is due to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, late this year. The conference will be held simultaneously in Damascus and Gaza City through a video-conference link.
"The conference in Damascus will deepen divisions among the Palestinians," warned a senior PA official. "This is the first time that several Palestinian factions are talking about the possibility of establishing an alternative to the PLO, which is still regarded by many Palestinians as their sole and legitimate representative."
In addition to the extremist groups, a number of prominent Palestinian figures have been invited to the conference in Syria, including estranged and veteran PLO leader Farouk Kaddoumi. The Tunisian-based Kaddoumi, who also serves as secretary-general of Fatah, is an outspoken critic of the Oslo Accords and the current PA leadership under Mahmoud Abbas.
Invitations issued by Hamas and its political allies described the Syria parley as the "Palestinian National Conference for Resisting Schemes Aimed at Liquidating the Palestinian Cause."
"Their declared goal is to foil the Annapolis conference," said another PA official. "What's worrying is that the conference will be held under the auspices of the Syrian regime, which is also unhappy with the US efforts to reach a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians."
Notice also how Hamas manages to set up video-conference links. They must really be starving!
Most of all, though, this is truly deja-vu from the original creation of the PLO:
As in 1964, this movement is not an indigenous Palestinian Arab movement but it sponsored by a separate Arab country (Egypt in 1964, Syria now.)
As in 1964, this new movement is not interested in an independent state but rather in destroying Israel and creating a pan-Arab or pan-Muslim nation-state. (The PLO version 1 didn't put a state in their platform until 1974 and that one was to replace Israel.)
Finally, as in 1964, this version of the PLO has one major political tactic: terrorism.