Friday, August 7, 2009
Although I know only a few words in Arabic (yes, hello, goodbye, let's go and peace) it is important that we make ourselves aware of what is said in the Arab media. It does not serve the cause of peace to base decisions and opinions on what is only said to the Western press. (The same would be true about Hebrew, but there does not appear as wide a gap between what Israelis say and write in Hebrew and what they say and write in English.) To that end it is worthwhile, if not depressing, to read the reports of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). I quote here from their recent report about the Fatah conference. (Fatah is the ruling party of Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority.): "Statements made on the eve of the Fatah conference, and during its opening session, indicate that the dominant position among Fatah members is that resistance (muqawama) of various forms is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people. Most Fatah members advocated a combination of the political path with various forms of resistance - from non-violent measures such as demonstrating and planting trees to armed resistance. Except for one lone voice, none expressed a willingness to completely rule out armed resistance. Even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas took an ambiguous stand, in contrast to past statements in which he explicitly opposed violence. It is clear that his position supports both the political process and popular resistance, but what is not clear is whether he is willing to remove the option of violent resistance from the table altogether." The rest of the report can be found here. We can only make peace if we confront what is said and written everywhere.