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WEST BANK: Anti-negotiations conference broken up

Crowds started to arrive at the Protestant church hall in downtown Ramallah in the West Bank shortly after midday Wednesday to attend an anti-negotiations conference. They were responding to a call by local Palestinian leaders opposed to plans by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to start direct negotiations with Israel before the latter halts all settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

To the surprise of the attendees, dozens of young Palestinians, believed to be members of Abbas’ Fatah movement and his security forces, moved in waving pictures of Abbas and chanting his name, disrupting the meeting even before it had started.

Their entrance and the disruption was clearly premeditated, according to the organizers of the conference, and their purpose was to make sure the conference will not be held. When the organizers, mainly leaders of left-wing Palestinian factions, realized that it would be impossible to proceed with their conference, they took to the streets of Ramallah in a protest march and to let the public know their views on the negotiations.

Palestinian police intervened to stop the march, charging that the protestors did not have a permit. Stunned by the developments, the organizers of the conference, some of them members of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, which on Friday voted to start direct negotiations with Israel on Sept. 2 in ceremonies to be held in Washington, then took their meeting to a local TV station, where they held a news conference.

They used the platform to condemn the disruption of the conference, accusing the Palestinian Authority of preventing freedom of expression. They called for the establishment of a commission to investigate what had happened and Abbas quickly agreed.

-- Maher Abukhater in Ramallah, West Bank

Comments () | Archives (6)

Geoff Trapp when it comes to where you're taking the country, how you got into power is irrelevant. Hitler was elected also yet I highly doubt his policies could be considered democratic.

The claim that Israel is occupying land is completely baseless. In the history of the region there has never been an independent Arab nation called Palestine. In fact the West Bank and Gaza was controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively.

Despite the growth in their population, the Arabs continued to assert they were being displaced. The truth is that from the beginning of World War I, part of Palestine's land was owned by absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Damascus and Beirut. About 80 percent of the Palestinian Arabs were debt-ridden peasants, semi-nomads and Bedouins.

I'll be glad to explain myself, Dean Blake Better yet, did you catch the other post by Jewish Voice For Peace? Why don't I just copy-and-paste from that post, and let the soldiers of the IDF explain the situation I'm talking about for themselves?

Here is an Israeli NGO, "Breaking The Silence", where actual soldiers of the IDF give first-hand eyewitnesses testimony and speak out against the war crimes and indignities that Israel inflicts on the Palestinians every day as a matter of official policy:

When you read that site, you'll realize it's time to join the worldwide coalition of Israelis, Jews, Christians, Americans and others who are saying "no more". Israel's ongoing illegal occupation and theft of Palestinian lands is a poisonous cancer to which Israeli society is addicted. If this cycle of injustice is to ever end, America must stop enabling Israel's addiction (and provide the impetus for change) by cutting off the $3 billion in American military aid Israel receives every year.

For the sake of humanity. For the sake of justice. For the sake of Israel's survival. It is time to BOYCOTT, DIVEST and SANCTION Israel. NOW.

Join us:

Folks, let's get the facts straight:

The root cause of the conflict is the constant refusal by the Arabs and Palestinians to recognize that the Jewish people have any historical connection at all to any part of the land of Israel. They therefore deny that the Jewish people have any rights or legitimate claims to ANY parts of the land.

This is the reason they rejected the 2-state-for-2-people solution proposed in 1936 by the Peel commission and later in 1947 by the Partition Plan. This is why they attacked the newborn Jewish state in 1948. This is why they never attempted to create a Palestinian state from 1948-1967 when Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied Gaza. This is why they continue to this day to reject every offer of a Palestinian State that doesn't result in the complete destruction of Israel. They rejected PM Barak's offer to create a state in 2000 and instead embarked on their wave of suicide bombing attacks. They rejected PM Olmert's generous offer of 100% of the West Bank (including some land swaps) as recently as 2008.

Fact: The Jewish people have a deep and ancient historical connection to this land. There was a Jewish State on this land for hundreds of years and a Temple in Jerusalem, it's capital, until the Romans exiled the Jewish people in the year 70 CE. (The first Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.)
Fact: The Palestinians have always denied the Jews their history.
Fact: The Palestinians are the ones who have always rejected a Palestinian state if it did not include destroying the Jewish State.

Geoff Trapp - please explain yourself. Your speaking in generalities and riddles. Specifically what lands are you writing about being given away? Tel Aviv? Exactly what violations of the 4th? What 'criminality' are you referencing and what agency do you think should be enforcing laws agasint these alleged violations who are remiss in their duties? Why don't you get yourself appointed to those agencies and set out the indictments? Name calling is all you are doing, unless you explain yourself with particularity. I'd like to know.

Ain't nothing more free or fair than busting kneecaps. Except, maybe, tossing a rival off of a rooftop.

Geoff: You are one funny man. Or is that phoney?

This kind of crony corruption from Fatah is EXACTLY why Hamas won the free and fair Palestinian elections in 2006.

Of course the Palestinians don't want Abbas giving away their land in "negotiations". You do not negotiate with a criminal who breaks into and occupies your house about which of your possessions and lands he should be allowed to keep. If the Israelis won't agree to FINALLY stop committing illegal violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, there should be no negotiations.

Why are the Palestinians afraid Abbas can't be trusted? It might have something to do with the fact that Abbas has no elected mandate.

Abbas was elected in 2005 to serve until January 2009. Then, he unilaterally extended his OWN presidency until January 2010, and now, he's STILL pretending to be a legitimate political representative of the Palestinian people, 9 months after THAT self-granted term expired.

That's nearly two years of unelected, illegitimate rule.


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