Thursday, December 22, 2011

Which side wants peace again?

From JPost:
In the second incident of its kind in the past week, Palestinian political activists Tuesday thwarted a meeting between Israelis and Palestinians in east Jerusalem.

The activists are opposed to such meetings under the pretext that they are designed to promote “normalization” between Palestinians and Israelis.

Tuesday’s meeting was initiated by the Palestine-Israel Journal, a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Ziad Abu Zayyad and Victor Cygielman, two prominent Palestinian and Israeli journalists.

The group states that its main goal is to encourage dialogue between the civil societies and broaden the base of support for the peace process.

The title of Tuesday’s meeting was the “Arab Spring’s impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

However, the event was called off at the last minute after the organizers learned that a group of Palestinian activists belonging to various factions, including Fatah, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s party, was planning to stage a demonstration in front of the conference hall.

“As a result of circumstances beyond our control, we regret to announce that the conference scheduled to take place today is postponed,” the organizers said in a statement.

The article goes into more detail of last week's episode:

Last week, another organization called the Israeli Palestinian Confederation was forced to cancel a conference at the Ambassador Hotel in east Jerusalem after scores of Palestinians demonstrated outside the building. Some of the protesters stormed the hotel and confiscated leaflets and signs belonging to the organization.

Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh, who was invited to address the conference, did not show up after receiving threats from the anti- “normalization” activists.

Earlier this week, Hatem Abdel Kader, a senior Fatah operative, announced that his faction has declared “war” on meetings aimed at promoting “normalization” with Israel.

Nusseibeh denied Tuesday that the purpose of last week’s conference was to promote “normalization” between Israeli and Palestinian academics.

On the contrary – the goal was to end the occupation and lay a mechanism for a better future for both sides,” he wrote in an article published in the Palestinian daily Al Quds.

He said that those who resorted to violence to foil the conference caused damage to the Palestinian leadership by making it appear as if it’s not interested in peace.
Maybe I missed it, but I never saw any extreme-right wing warmongering hawkish Likudniks ever protesting and threatening people interested in a dialogue with Arabs.

That seems to be exclusively the purview of moderate, peace-seeking Fatah members.

(Notice also that even the most moderate of "moderates," Sari Nusseibeh, feels compelled to distance himself from any hint of "normalization" with Israel. Of course, even he has a big problem with facts.)

(h/t Ian)