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Newspaper El Liberal
Santiago del Estero – Monday, July 4, 2005

El Liberal interviewed Ambassador Suhail Hani Daher Akel

Sharon turned Palestine into Auschwitz shadow (view)

By Emilio Marcelo Jozami

The Palestine Ambassador in Argentina Suhail Hani Daher Akel is a man who does not resort to euphemisms to refer himself to the Palestine reality. In a sincere way, he goes on the attack of those people who –according to him- subdue the sovereignty of his natal territory.

When he refers to the present Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, he does not resort to moderate terms to define him. “Sharon turned Palestine into Auschwitz shadow, with its grief and death taste”, the diplomat emphasized. He visited Santiago del Estero at the invitation of the Arab Culture House.

Yesterday, during a meeting with Governor Gerardo Zamora, he talked about the possibility of establishing cultural and even commercial interchanges between Santiago del Estero and his country.

Zamora gave Akel a poncho and Akel gave Zamora a replica of the Palestine Emblem and a certification.

During the interview with El Liberal, Akel criticized Sharon and he urged the international community to demand resignation of Sharon. He added that the international community "must convict him of war crimes against humanity and give place to the fact that those Israelis who are committed to peace guide a new Israel and Palestine through the way of peace, dignity and cohabitation”.

Israel cannot justify the tragedy which it is imposing on the Palestinian people by means of the fact that it is building a security barrier. Actually, it is building a 720-km-long Apartheid Wall which reach 30 kilometers within Palestinian territory, dividing cities, keeping 58% of our territory and practically keeping 85% of our waters”, the Palestinian Ambassador emphasized.

Palestine is crossed by the Apartheid Wall and it is full of illegal Jewish settlements. Besides, the Israeli forces are destroying Palestinian houses”, he stated.

Before a question, Akel said that the recent meeting between the US President, George Bush, and the Palestine President, Mahmoud Abbas, has been “interesting and positive”.

The United States

I agree with the fact that President Bush received a Palestinian President for the first time, but I do not agree with the fact that he did not receive Yasser Arafat. If you want to achieve peace, you have to listen to both sides. Anyway, we expect a lot of the United States, which carries out an almost-eradication policy with belligerent countries. Iraq was not a threat to the world, but today it is being absolutely destroyed by the United States”.

Israel is a belligerent country which has been condemned by the United Nations, but Bush does not seem to care about it. We do not long for the destruction of the Israeli people, but we urge US to exert pressure on Israel in order to put an end to occupation”, he said.

The United States cannot continue manipulating Sharon in a gentle way and it cannot continue trying to change Sharon’s mind. On the contrary, it must definitely exert pressure on Sharon in order for Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories, permit us the restitution of the Palestine State and withdraw the illegal settlements from Palestine”, he highlighted.

It is evident that the United States and Israel have a close relationship. According to us, the United States must have an objective stance in this conflict, which is not a religious conflict, but a political one. We have good relations with the United States, but we want to improve them”.

With regard to the future of the Gaza Strip in September, when Israel withdraws its military points and settlements from there, he stated: “We are really expecting that Israel definitely withdraws not only from the Gaza Strip, but also from all the Palestinian territories which were occupied in the 1967 war, including East Jerusalem. Actually, Sharon does not show many signs of good will with regard to this withdrawal from Gaza. They do not call it a military withdrawal, but a disconnection plan. The one which disconnects may be able to connect again”.

Israel has to be clearer and it must accept his role of occupant power, just as it is established by UN resolutions. They have to clearly refer to the fact that they are occupying the Palestinian territory. They must militarily withdraw from there in order not to ever return. The withdrawal is not coordinated; under Israel’s terms, it is going to be a failure. Sharon cannot state that these are painful concessions, they are paying a high price and settlers are a great obstacle. The illegal settlers are a consequence of Sharon’s government and other Israeli governments which have taken them to the Palestinian land. Israel has the possibility of cleaning all Palestinian territories”.

Photo: Yesterday morning, Daher Akel and Zamora had a meeting where they interchanged presents and praises.

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