Even ´Peace Now´ Getting Fed Up With Arab Officials? (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Rachel Hirshfeld 02/28/12)
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Americans for Peace Now´s Director of Policy and Government Relations
Lara Friedman has expressed her discontent and dissatisfaction with
the failure of Arab officials to acknowledge Jewish rights to
While Friedman is vehemently against Jewish communities in Judea and
Samaria, military action against Iran, and advocated on behalf of
freeing the Islamic Jihad terrorist Khader Adnan from Israeli
administrative detention, she nonetheless laments that the Arab
League’s Conference on Jerusalem in Doha on Sunday did not give voice
to Jewish perspectives.
“When I was invited to this conference, I took this as a sign that
the Arab League wanted to capture the full complexity of the issues
related to Jerusalem, including openly pro-Israel, pro-peace voices,"
she wrote Monday in the Forward. "However, it seems that virtually
every conversation I am having here involves me, to a greater or
lesser degree, having to defend the two-state solution and having to
assert and defend the Jewish stake in Jerusalem..
“[I]t seems to me that by not having more pro-two-state solution,
Jewish voices here, the Arab League is doing a disservice to the
cause it is ostensibly concerned with — the health and status of
Jerusalem — and missing an opportunity. The Arab world, and activists
around the globe concerned with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, do
themselves no favors when they listen to voices that tell them only a
piece of the story that is comfortable to their ears.
“Speakers at Sunday’s opening session, including Palestinian
[Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas, one after another laid out
laundry lists of criticisms of Israel — many of them regrettably
marked with exaggerations. All also spoke a great deal about Muslim
and Christian attachments to Jerusalem and the importance of
defending the holy sites and communities associated with both
religions. However, only one speaker, Michel Sabbah, formerly the
Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, mentioned any Jewish connection to the
city,” she added.
“This is a serious problem,” Friedman proclaimed. “If President Abbas
cannot acknowledge Jewish claims in Jerusalem, even as he asserts
Palestinian claims (a problem Yasser Arafat suffered from), he should
not be surprised if it is more difficult for Israelis and Jews,
wherever they are, to believe that he can be trusted in a peace
agreement that leaves Jerusalem sites precious to Jews under
“If representatives of the organization that sponsored the Arab Peace
Initiative cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the legitimacy of
Jewish equities in Jerusalem, they should know that they discredit
their own professed interest in peace.
“All throughout the day, it was unfortunately the same story.
Participants talked about Jerusalem as if Jewish history did not
exist or was a fraud — as if all Jewish claims in the city were just
a tactic to dispossess Palestinians.”
She concluded by saying that she “regret[s] that the conference so
far has not taken the issues related to Jerusalem more seriously.
Much of the discourse here thus far has been personally objectionable
and even painful to me, but I believe my presence here is important
for the cause of peace.”
Friedman, like Norman Finkelstein, among others, seem to be
disheartened and disillusioned by the liberal, leftist and anti-
Israel groups which they espouse. Finkelstein recently admitted that
the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which he so
closely aligned and supported in the past, is “a cult.”
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 02/28/12)
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