MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
As the November Middle East peace summit at Annapolis drags on to its almost inevitable and disastrous conclusion, there is one small candle emitting a ray of hope. A conspiracy of evil people, masquerading as "progressives" and friends of the Palestinians and members of the "peace camp," has been formed to snuff out this ray of hope.
The sides, in their public pronouncements, seem to grow farther apart, and predictably, Iran is exerting pressure on Arab states to shun the conference. Vocal and well financed lobby groups against concessions, even against attendance at the talks, have been formed on both sides, and are doing their best to dominate the public agenda, forcing leaders to think carefully before offering any concessions. Polls indicate that a silent majority of Palestinians and Israelis support the negotiatons.
The one thing that could save these talks from failure is public pressure for serious negotiations. The One Million Voices campaign, which aims to get a million Israeli and Palestinian signatures on a petition to leaders to end the conflict, could provide that much needed public pressure. The planning for this campaign started last winter or before, well before anyone knew about any plans for a Middle East peace conference. The highlight of the campaign was to be twin concerts held in Tel Aviv and Jericho, at which Israelis and Palestinians would sign a document that calls on leaders to negotiate an end to the conflict, without taking any political position. You can see this document at the One Million Voices Web site and you can sign it (even if you are not Palestinian or Israeli.
As might be predicted, the enemies of peace and decency have worked overtime to sabotage the event. The concert in Jericho had to tbe cancelled after Palestinian extremists threatened violence. But those were only the really extreme extremists.
A second group of extremists, including "nonviolent" group ISM, agitprop Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada, the notorious PACBI - Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, self - proclaimed "peace" activists, and pseudo-progressive fascists of Indymedia, have teamed up to spread a vicious lie. The lie intentionally confutes the One Million Voices petition to negotiate a settlement, any settlement, with a different activity of the One Voice Movement to end the Israeli -Palestinian Conflict. Separately from the petition, as anyone can veryify, One Voice has been running a staged referendum that asks people to mark their preferences for a solution to the conflict. It does not state an opinion, but offers options. The bogus peace and justice thugs claimed that this latter document is actually a position paper of One Voice and that attendees at the concerts would be "required" to sign this document, a claim which is totally unfounded.
This claim is totally false. There is no chance at all that this is an "innocent" error, as the platform and doings of One Voice, and the separate petition of One Million Voices are quite public and accessible by anyone. The truth is that these "peace" people are not interested in any sort of meaningful two state solution, as they make abundantly clear in their statements. They are against "Apartheid." That means, that they insist on dismantling Israel as a Jewish state by flooding it with Arab Palestinian refugees and those who claim to be such, while at the same time, they would be unwilling to allow Jews to settle in the Palestinian West Bank. Jews wold not be allowed any "Right of Return" -- only Palestinians.
A summary of this shameful campaign is posted here.
There are a few lessons to be learned from this sordid episode by those who dream idly of "people power" changing Arab society, and by those who ally themselves with pseudo-progressive peace thugs like Abunimah and Golan. The tragedy of the Palestinian people, is that their national destiny is apparently controlled by hoodlums who threaten violence against a concert and by vicious degenerates like ISM and the Hamas sponsored Palestinian Academic Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. And what can we say about the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, which aspires to run a state and claims it could control terror, but cannot even guarantee the safety of a youth concert for peace against extremists?
Only the Palestinians can rescue themselves from their leadership and the "peace" thugs and their groupies, but it is not as simple as saying "democracy." Democracy can't work if people are shut up by violence and intimidation, and if depraved extremists work overtime to spread falsehoods.
A statement by One Voice is appended.
12 days ago a slanderous press release was launched by a fringe group that sparked rumours that OneVoice Palestine exists to negotiate away the rights of refugees and international law. OneVoice’s teams here come together to categorically deny this and expose the fact that some Palestinians have been misled by a sinister campaign of hate, coupled with vicious threats of violence from extremists that have spiraled out of control.
OneVoice is a civil society movement to empower the conflict resolution process from the grassroots. We have no power to affect the content of negotiations, but we do have the power to tell the leaders and international community that we will no longer accept a failure to deliver real progress. The OneVoice Mandate calls on our heads of State to commence immediate negotiations, uninterrupted until the conclusion of a vaiable Two State agreement in order to amplify moderate forces in the November negotiations. That is the power of the grassroots and without a mobilized grassroots constituency we leave our leaders open to attack and without the strength to deliver real answers.
Of course the people have demands, whether they be to end the occupation or to deliver security, OneVoice, however, does not have a political platform other than to endorse negotiations for a Two State solution and stands only to support the leaders and demand that the will of the people serve to energise the process. Its Palestinian offices in Gaza City and Ramallah, run by nationalist Palestinians for nationalist Palestinians, exist to do exactly this.
And so, an organization of around 600,000 Palestinian and Israeli signatories, board members from Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, Jibril Rajoub, and Islamic Chief Justice Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi to Arab-American Institute President Dr Jim Zogby and Founder George Salem, is being targeted by absolutists with no intention of ending the conflict, who are defrauding the people out of their right to peace, and into being a part of their battle. They must not be tolerated and we implore all of you who are confused by the lies and seek further clarification to look at the OneVoice track record and materials yourselves.
The opportunity is not lost: 600,000 people have already spoken and will not lose the hope and momentum we are building in the wake of the Arab Peace Initiative and the upcoming November Summit.
We will stand by President Abbas and tell him that he can and must deliver something for the people and that we will support him every step of the way when he does because these enemies of peace will attack him too as they did attack Chairman Arafat’s ‘peace of the braves’ and all other efforts toward a just solution that will bring about Palestinian independence, an end to the occupation and peace with its neighbours including Israel based on the terms that he as the Palestinian head of state agrees upon.
These enemies who use intimidation, fear and manipulation to protract the conflict through absolutist ideologies do not have any actionable proposals that will fulfill the wish of the Palestinian people. They have enchained the people for far too long.
Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000631.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
Replies: 5 comments
It's helpful to see the truth of particular organizations' stances in this smear campaign ... ISM, for one ... clears up a lot of ambiguities in their prior press coverage, statements, etc.
OneVoice is powerful because it acknowledges that the 'moderate middle' covers a lot of ground ... my view of the what final status details should look like might not be your view ... but we can both agree to demand that our leaders sit down and stay seated till they start the serious business of peacemaking.
Posted by Amy @ 10/14/2007 12:10 PM CST
Unfortunately, One voice has now cancelled all the events in solidarity.
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 10/15/2007 11:35 PM CST
Regrettably, I have not seen any "peace" people of the left speaking out against the ISM/PACBI etc. campaign. This failure seems to show that the Palestinian "street" is safe only for extremists.
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 10/15/2007 11:38 PM CST
This is just a test of the new comment system.
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 10/16/2007 12:32 AM CST
Israel should not give the Palestinians one inch of ground. That land was given to Israel by God Almighty. Not to be given away for any reason. Israel will never have peace by giving away their land. And the Palestians will never quit wanting more, till the Jews are gone completely. God bless the Jews and God make them strong--NO negotiations on land.
Posted by Paris Harmon @ 10/29/2007 08:54 PM CST
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