Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

U.S.-Arab Relations - Palestinian Perspectives at ADC

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

U.S.-Arab Relations - Palestinian Perspectives at ADC

Article excerpt

U.S.-ARAB RELATIONS--PALESTINIAN PERSPECTIVES AT ADC

Several people presented the Palestinian perspective on U.S.-Arab relations at a panel discussion at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination annual convention. Attorney Raef Zreik described the dilemma the Palestinian Authority (PA) faces regarding whether to act as a liberation movement or as a government. Since there is no machinery in place for the PA to function as a state, the Palestinian populace lacked a mechanism to voice their mostly negative views toward the peace process. Nor is there a mechanism--contrary to Israeli allegations--for Arafat to control the Palestinian people. Finally, Zreik pointed out, Palestinians are not fighting for peace, but for liberation, freedom, and independence.

Another attorney, Linda Mansour, participated in the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) January 2001 visit to Palestine. The situation was so bad, she stated, that even the Israeli human rights organizations they met with refused to go into Palestine to see things for themselves because it was not safe. Mansour also pointed out that occupation implies occupiers who eventually will leave. The NLG, however, saw no evidence of that. …

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