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Newspaper El Observador
Montevideo, Uruguay Republic, June 13, 2003

Sharon is not a man of peace and he is proving it (view)

Suhail Hani Daher Akel, Ambassador of the Palestine Authority in Argentina

The State of Palestine doesn’t have an Ambassador in Uruguay, but yes in Argentina. He dialogued with El Observador about the violence facts in the Middle East and about Yasser Arafat´s task.

By: Facundo Ponce de León

- What is the Road Map’s solution for this violent framework lived in the Middle East ?

The Road Map has as base three United Nations´ resolutions voted for the Security Council: 242, 1967; 338, 1973; and 1397, 2002. These international juridical laws urge to Israel, as occupant power, to withdraw from all the Palestinians Occupied Territories in the June 5th, 1967 war, including Jerusalem. Israel, as occupant power, can’t put conditions on the occupied country. On the other hand, in the Aqaba´s Summit celebrated on June 4th, we expected to all the Quartet’s members, and not only a part of them. The Quartet, formed by the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and United States, designed the road map, and the only presence of the American President, George W. Bush, show us this was an unilateral question between United States and Israel for not permitting the presence of the democratic leader Yasser Arafat and for obstructing the other Quartet’s parts presence.

- But the Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was present in the meeting, For you, Did he play any role in the Middle East peace process?

The presence of the Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is perfect, he was personally designed by the President Yasser Arafat. But there is an important difference, because United States didn’t permit the participation of the President Arafat, and Israel neither permitted it, and in this way this takes discriminatory characteristics. If you discriminate a part, so you are not looking for peace solutions.

- Arafat is a man who condemned the terrorist attacks, but he couldn’t or he didn’t know how to control to the Palestinian extremist groups.

I think you have to change the semantic. Could Israel control to the terrorist who killed Yitzhak Rabin? Can someone control the Israel’s terrorism of State? Is not Terrorism of State what Israel does on the Palestinian Civil Population? Who Does control to the illegal settlers in Israel?, they are almost 430,000 and they have guns. In this way I think it’s better to change the semantic: It can’t say there was a terrorist attack in Israel and an offensive in Palestine. There was a terrorist attack in Israel and a terrorist attack in Palestine. We have trying to stay together and to put end to this violence, but if we really have to put end to the violence, we can’t refuse the other part; Israel systematically refuses the State of Palestine.

There is a semantic war to confuse the people: on the one hand they talk about terrorist attack and on the other hand they talk about offensive. Israel is carrying out in my country a Terrorism of State.

- If we change the semantic, as you want, so we have terrorists in both sides, and this situation doesn’t take off responsibility to the parts, but includes them in a place where the violence is the queen.

But the mother of the violence is the occupation, that’s the beginning of the violence: the Israeli occupation. If they put end to the territorial occupation the violence will cease.

He said:

“There is a semantic war to confuse the people: on the one hand they talk about terrorist attack and on the other hand they talk about offensive. Israel is carrying out in my country a Terrorism of State”.

“Unites States doesn’t put pressure over Sharon, who is accused for the Belgium international Court as war criminal”.

- But I repeat you, Arafat doesn’t control to the terrorists, that Israel and another countries couldn’t control to the terrorists doesn’t take off responsibility to Arafat.

Do you think Arafat can control anything when he is military siege by Israel since 1 year and six months ago? Arafat can’t walk, and he can’t go to the Palestinian cities, he can’t do presidential travels, so, What are they urging to President Arafat? Arafat condemns the Palestinian terrorist attacks but Sharon never condemned the Israeli terrorist attacks, nor the children massacre realized in these moments.

- What kind of support has Hamas between the Palestinian population?

I don’t know exactly. We have won the elections democratically with 88.1% of the Palestinian votes.

-But those votes are Arafat´s and not Hamas´.

I talk you in my party’s name, I mean Hamas hasn’t got a majority consensus between the Palestinians, because we won the elections. But, Hamas is a part of the Palestinian people, in spite of we disagree the violence. But how can we, before Israel, stop the violence generated by Israel. We have all our cities occupied, Israel has erected division walls between the Palestinian cities and this prevents the communication between a city or a village with another one. And the President Arafat is military siege since December 1st, 2001 by the Israeli occupation forces.

- Do you think is impossible the peace with Ariel Sharon as Israel’s leader?

In these moments there is no another Israeli leadership, and in spite of the peace can’t wait, it’s clear that Sharon is not a peace man, but he is a man prepared for war, and he is showing it to us since he reached the power in January 2001. So, Is it possible the peace with Sharon? It’s possible if there is an effective international pressure, a Quartet’s pressure, but United States doesn’t have intentions to pressure Sharon, who is accused for the Belgium International Court as war criminal.

- You are saying the Arafat´s disrepute comes from United States and Israel, but Don’t you believe there is an international consensus about Arafat is not a valid speaker as 15 or 20 years ago?

Sorry but You are so wrong. In 1994, Arafat was named Peace’s Nobel Prize, the last declarations of the United Nations´ General Secretary, Kofi Annan, establishes that Arafat is the speaker elected for the Palestinian People. Colin Powell, United States Secretary of State, 72 hours ago said: “It’s true Arafat is the elected President, but we don’t want to talk with him”. The European Union considers to President Arafat as elected president and speaker. The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Javier Solana by the European Union, and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Arafat. And all of them met with Arafat in spite of Sharon urged to not meeting with Arafat. So, it is not the world as you say, but it’s Israel under the United States support.

- Do you have Jewish friends?

In first place I’m Semite, in second place I’m not of those persons who justify themselves talking about Jewish friends. I know many people and I have great relationships with Argentinean Jews and Jewish pacifist organizations here in Buenos Aires. And with those persons we have realized joint acts. At the same time, I have friends living in Israel related with Palestinian pacifist movements. But I repeat to you, I don’t like to use the appellative of “Jewish friend”.

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