maandag 5 oktober 2009

'What is needed is a plan for peaceful, popular resistance'

Ma'an News interviewed the imprisoned Fatah-leader Marwan Barghouti - through his lawyer - in his Israeli cell. Some excerpts:

Do you think that a third Intifada is on its way?
The question that should be asked is why did the Al-Aqsa Intifada break out? Was it not because of the collapse of the peace process? Because the negotiation reached a dead end? Was it not because of continued settlement and Judaization in Jerusalem? The refusal [of Israel] to end the occupation and accept Palestinians’ rights? And now is there an Israeli partner for peace? The answer is a big ‘no.’ Did the settlements stop?
What is happening now is the height of settlement activity since 1967. In addition there is the Judaization of Jerusalem. First it was one home after another, now it’s one neighborhood after another. I am saying this loudly: anyone who thinks that peace is possible with the current Israeli government and was not possible with the previous governments, is being delusional.

(…) Intifada does not result from a decision by this official or that leader, or this faction or that. It comes from the collective will of the Palestinians. That’s what happened in the First and Second Intifadas. What is needed now is a popular movement of peaceful resistance to confront settlement, a movement that has the participation of all the leaders, factions, organizations, and the Palestinian Authority. It is clear that the conditions that were in place when the Second Intifada broke out are still in place.

What do you think of the New York summit between President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and US President Barack Obama?
Honestly, I hoped it would not take place because the conditions of its failure are clear. It is regrettable that the American stance, as articulated by Obama and welcomed by Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, has begun to evaporate. The Israelis and Americans are the ones who benefitted from this summit. It was important that President Abbas’ refused to resume negotiations before settlements come to a halt, and he should maintain this position. If the negotiations resume with such an [Israeli] government, what will we win?

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had presented his plan titled “Palestine: Ending the occupation, establishing the state. Have you read this document? What you think of it?
I read the document more than once. I think it’s a good plan. It makes the argument that ending the occupation is a precondition to establishing the state. But the PLO and the factions should compliment this plan with a blueprint for peaceful, popular resistance.

For the full interview click here

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