Geneva Follow-up

In our communique yesterday, we addressed two aspects of the Geneva Accord: its lack of popularity among Israelis, and mixed messages from Fatah officials regarding the motive of their support.

Also under-reported was the fact that many of the speakers at the Geneva ceremony on Monday did not so much promote peaceful co-existance, but rather took the opportunity for some good old-fashioned Israel-bashing, with cries of “apartheid state,” and Ariel Sharon branded “a fascist” by one Palestinian speaker. Allison Kaplan Sommer translated an article from today’s Yediot Achronot :

Author Amos Oz was disappointed by the speeches of his Palestinian partners:

“During all of the speeches, none of them mentioned the terror attacks, the phenomenon of suicide bombers, the victims on the Israeli side. None of them bothered to mention that for decades they threatened to throw us into the sea. As if they were merely placed into a situation of occupation, only they have suffered, and there has never been any suffering on the Israeli side.”

In addition, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who had been meant to accompany Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed-Rabbo to Washington to meet with Sec. of State Powell, instead returned to Israel full of criticism as to what happened at the ceremony.

Members of the Israeli delegation were stunned yesterday to read in “Yediot Aharonot” that the Palestinian song chosen to open the Geneva ceremony was an ode to a Palestinian prisoner whose words were written by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who himself refused to join the Palestinian delegation to Geneva. According to the original plan, the singer David Broza was supposed to take the stage together with a group from Ramalla, but at the last minute the group insisted on performing alone with the song “Prisoner.”

It’s disturbing indeed that even in this forum of liberal-minded peace activists, the old anti-Israel canards and glamorization of Palestinian criminality persisted. And this aspect of the gathering was completely ignored by the world media.