Friday, April 23, 2004

Our Palestinian friends 

Now they tell us...

In an interview with the Jordanian newspaper "Al-Arab", Farouk Kaddoumi, the PLO's foreign minister, made some interesting statements, "The Jerusalem Post" reports. According to Kaddoumi:

- the PLO still doesn't recognise Israel's right to existence. The movement's charter, which was supposed to have been amended in the early 1990s to recognise the state of Israel, was never officially so amended, contrary to commonly accepted wisdom.

- when Arafat refers to the struggle against Israel, he is referring to "armed struggle" as that is the only way to force Israel to accept Palestinian "national aspirations".

As Kaddoumi says: "If Israel wants to leave the Gaza Strip, then it should do so. This means that the Palestinian resistance has forced it to leave. But the resistance will continue. Let the Gaza Strip be South Vietnam. We will use all available methods to liberate North Vietnam."

- Kaddoumi has also been appointed by the PLO leadership to a "special portfolio" of supporting anti-American "resistance" in Iraq.

The article describes Kaddoumi as a hard-liner, so perhaps his views are not reflective of the whole of Arafat's organisation, but haven't we been told repeatedly that the PLO belongs to the moderate and reasonable section of the Palestinian political spectrum?

Oh well, back to the peace process and back to the negotiating table.


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