400 Israeli peace activists meet with Fatah and PA officials
Headline: “Israeli peace activists marked the international day of solidarity with our people”
“Four-hundred Israeli peace activists who represent institutions and organizations that oppose the occupation and support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state visited the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah yesterday [Nov. 29, 2019] to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The speakers emphasized the importance of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as it is the basis for peace in the region and the world, and the need for joint activity of the Palestinians and the peace camp in Israel against the extremism of the Israeli right-wing and in order to end the occupation.
Fatah Movement Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub said that a just peace that will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state is a guarantee for the region’s stability and the security of Palestinians and Israelis, and that the Israeli right-wing is attempting to kill the Palestinian dream of bringing peace and establishing the Palestinian state. The fact that hundreds of Israelis are coming on the international day of solidarity with Palestine means that there is a change in Israeli society, and this obligates us to reexamine our relations with every Israeli who believes in the two-state solution and rejects the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the denial of our rights.
He said: ‘The most dangerous thing for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli right-wing, is this meeting at which there are Palestinians and Israelis who are talking about three goals, which are: two states for two peoples, East Jerusalem as the political capital of the State of Palestine, and a Jerusalem that is open to the three [monotheistic] religions. The occupation and settlement are a malignant cancer and an existential threat to Israel, and the Israelis’ security and stability are dependent on the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel – and not on its ruins, as the racist right-wing claims.’
He expressed hopes that this meeting will be the beginning of meetings and dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israeli peace camp.
He said that ‘[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, despite all of the difficulties with which he is dealing from inside and outside, still believes in a peace that is based on justice, and that the way to achieve this peace is only through peaceful popular resistance. I think that these Palestinian-Israeli meetings are a part of this resistance, and proof of the rejection of this racist Israeli occupation, and we must unite efforts against the occupation that constitutes a danger to Israel, as it constitutes a danger to us.’
He continued: ‘There is no one in the world who does not want a Palestinian state aside from Netanyahu and the Israeli right-wing. I hope that everyone will understand the significance of the presence of hundreds of Israelis here today, and this is a message that there is an Israeli partner. The Palestinians only see the faces of the extremists and the settlers in all districts of the homeland, and your presence here is a message and emphasis that there is also a Palestinian partner, under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas.’
Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine [and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice] Mahmoud Al-Habbash noted that ‘This visit and the talk about peace change the existing picture, which placed the Palestinian against the Israeli and said: You are enemies and you must fight each other so that the extremists will execute their plots behind the scenes and inflame the hatred between the two sides. Therefore, we are living together under the sword, and in order for it be removed from our necks we must recognize the necessity of achieving peace that is based on justice and will place us all as equal human beings; and this will not be achieved by the occupation continuing, but rather by it ending.’
Yuval Rahamim from the [Israeli] Peace NGOs Forum said that ‘It is rare to see solidarity meetings between members of two states that are waging a long and bloody conflict like us, and yet here we are; and we must recognize that many members of the two peoples do not identify with this meeting because they have lost faith in the possibility of achieving peace between us.’
He continued: ‘However, we represent many of the citizens of Israel who still think that if we come to work for peace and mutual recognition we will find a solution to the conflict – a solution that will honor the rights, freedom, independence, and dignity of the Palestinians, and provide Israel with peace and security; peace that will lead to the State of Palestine that will be established soon, God willing, alongside the State of Israel.’
Former Israeli Parliament Member from the Meretz party Mossi Raz said: ‘We came here in order to identify with the Palestinian people everywhere that it is, here in the occupied territories and in the diaspora, and also with the Palestinian citizens in Israel.’
He added: ‘I hope that we will go to elections in which Netanyahu will be defeated, and his leaving is a moment we are waiting for and a united desire, and if I was [Blue and White party leader Benjamin] Gantz’s advisor, I would recommend he not waste time, but rather come directly to President Mahmoud Abbas.’ He also expressed his hope that this will be ‘the way that the next government in Israel acts, and that peace will be achieved between the two sides, the Palestinian and the Israeli,’ and said: ‘We will do anything to achieve this.’”
Jibril Rajoub also holds the following positions: Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).