Thursday, January 12, 2012

No Association. No Talking. No Confederation. No Peace.

The committee for an Israeli-Palestinian Confederation attempted to hold meetings in Israel and Palestine in December 2011. The purpose of these meetings was to prepare for elections for an Israeli-Palestinian Confederation to be voted on by the people, even if not recognized by the Israeli and Palestinian governments. The Confederation would be an independent third government representing the peoples of both Israel and Palestine.

The committee had been promoting the concept of a confederation for several years, as a path to the solution of the conflict. But in Palestine, mobs forced their way into the meetings and shut them down. The Jerusalem Post on 13 December 2011 reported this under the headline, “Anti-‘normalization’ Palestinians protest peace meeting.”

Daoud Kuttab, columnist, former professor of journalism at Princeton University, and director general of Pen Media, in an article first published in the Jordan Times on Dec. 22, 2011, reports that previous meetings that included Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arab Muslims had also been disrupted. In 2000, a Palestinian-Israeli human rights film festival was held in several cities in Israel and Palestine. The winning film was to be announced at the final meeting in Ramallah, but protesters who opposed Israeli-Palestinian peace came in and forced the cancellation of the ceremony.

The Palestinian Israeli Journal was going to hold a conference in East Jerusalem to promote its issue on“The impact of the Arab Spring on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” Palestinians opposed to “normalisation” called for a boycott of the hotel, and the event was cancelled.

The government of Israel has also been guilty of violating the freedom of association. The government has prevented the Jerusalemites of the eastern part of the city from creating their own organizations. For example, The Orient House and the East Jerusalem chamber of commerce remain closed. Daoud Kuttab reports that cultural and sports activities have been stifled when they are regarded as being tied to the Palestinian Authority.

In a message to the candidates for the Confederation on 25 December 2011, Josef Avesar, founder of the committee, stated that while demonstrators stopped the confederation conventions at east Jerusalem and Palestine, they were not able to shut down the convention in Haifa, Israel. Opponents had also contacted candidates to intimidate them from running. But “not a single candidate took his name of the IPC official website. Collectively, we remain stronger by adding 150 candidates in the last month. We now have a total of 625 candidates.”

Those gangs that shut down the meetings are opposed to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The plain two-state solution has been much discussed, but not acted on due to inherent problems. A confederation is necessary in order for both states to co-exist. That is why those oppose to peace oppose the confederation idea. The vote for the Confederate legislature is scheduled to take place on December 12, 2012.

A Jerusalem Post headline on 17 December 2001, exclaimed, “Fatah declares 'war' on normalization with Israel.” In reaction to the meetings of the Israeli Palestinian Confederation, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction has banned informal meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.

Although the Palestinian Arabs may believe that these meetings would not change the Israeli government’s policies, the Confederation offers a method of resolving the problem peacefully, and so banning the meetings blocks off one avenue towards a solution to the problem of the Israelis settlements in the West Bank and the recognition of the 1967 boundary. This war on meetings also blocks off discussions on possible solutions, such as the payment of rent to the Palestinians by the Israeli settlers.

The ban by the Palestinian Authority violates the freedom of association and speech, and shows that this government does not respect liberty and natural rights. It is very deeply an opposition to peace and the resolution of the problem. They claim that they are blocking meetings because of Israeli policy even while shutting off an avenue to change the policy.

Enough said. The actions of the PA speak for themselves. There shall be no associations that include Palestinians and Israelis. There will be no mutual discussions. They will attempt to prevent the Confederate elections of December 2012 in Palestine. And with no dialog and no mutual governance, there will be no peace in Palestine and Israel. The main victims will be the Palestinian Arabs, and the whole world will continue to suffer from the global shock waves generated by turmoil in the Middle East. That is the tragic message by the supremacists on Christmas Day in 2011.