Buenos Aires, February 8, 1991
Interview with the Director of the Palestine Information Office in Argentina, Suhail Hani Daher Akel
With stones and sticks facing Goliath (view)
-What is the stance of the Palestine Information Office with regard to the Gulf War?
-The Palestinian stance is very clear, Palestine supports the brotherly Arab people. Since the beginning of this crisis, we have taken a very clear stance. President Yasser Arafat has offered four points in order to search for a political way out of this crisis in Middle East after the Iraqui decision of meeting up with Kuwait.
President Arafat has proposed that the following four steps should be taken: First, the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the Arab homeland, they have nothing to do there; second, Iraq’s withdrawal towards the line of August 2; third, an Arab dissuasion force and finally a plebiscite in Kuwait, where the Kuwaiti people may determine what type of government they want to have: the earlier one or President Saddam Hussein’s one.
With regard to this issue, in different opportunities, PLO has expressed that it could be –at all times- a mediator between two brotherly Arab people who are in conflict. In other words, it could objectively try to solve their problems.
However, in case American imperialism, Israeli Zionism or English colonialism carry out an act of aggression against the brotherly Arab people, there is no doubt that we are going to be in favour of the brotherly Arab people.
All peace proposals we have worked for have been practically aborted due to the war drums unleashed by the United Stated in the region. We believe that there are no differences between one invasion and the other one. We do not justify Iraq; what is more, we highly condemn US’s aggression against the Arab land.
On the other hand, we have noticed that the United Nations did not take similar resolutions when Israel occupied Palestine in 1967 and it has been occupying our land for 24 years. Therefore, there has been an injustice against the Iraqi people who is facing one of the worst bellicose aggressions of the century today. Baghdad is practically devastated, although Iraqi military positions are intact.
We are worried about the role of “victim” Israel is playing after the Iraqi attacks. Although we cannot justify the attacks and we do not agree with attacks against civilian population, Iraq is attacking an aggressive militarist country such as the State of Israel which has played an important role in this war; since the first minute, Israel has been involved in this war and it has been carrying out actions in it.
We want to denounce that Israel has decided to take our people as its hostages in the occupied territories, because it has locked our population –which consists of 2 million people- and it has denied us anti-gas masks.
No sirens warn us about the presence of missiles. During the last few hours, we were informed that a Scud missile had reached Palestinian land. Logically, Palestinians had no knowledge of this because they had no way of detecting it. However, Israel ignored it and it did not even send out its Patriot antimissile. This clearly proves that Israel is using our people as its human shields, as its hostages in this war.
-In relation to what you have said about the Palestinian people, we are interesting in having knowledge of the reality of the Palestinian youth and its role in this war.
-The Palestinian youth is a direct victim of the Israeli repression. There is no doubt that Israel has –during these days- worked for the castration of the future generations so that they may not lead the great Arab Palestinian people in the future.
In order to achieve its objective, throughout history and occupation, Israel has unleashed its hatred causing children broken bones, burying youth alive and causing pregnant women to have abortions due to beatings and poison gases. Nowadays there are four thousand cases of women who have had an abortion due to the Israeli poison gas. That is, our youth is suffering great consequences which are going to remain in the future generations due to the terrible repression unleashed by Israel.
Systematically, Israel has denied the Palestinian youth the right to continue studying. Last year, Palestinian universities were closed during the whole year denying youths education and preparation. High schools and kindergartens were also closed.
However, we, Palestinians, have tried to prepare our youth in secondary and university levels: in private homes, in basements and even in cars, where two or three youths and a teacher were able to take lessons.
This is a revolutionary guide line of our people in their intellectual advance. Right now, according to statistics, the Palestinian people posses the highest level of education in Middle East. At world level, it is in the third place together with France.
Our youth, as well as, our people keep their will of freedom intact. That is why they have faced this Goliath with stones and sticks and they have shown history who the real Herodes are and who the real victims of this history are.
Our youth starts their liberation struggle in childhood. When they are children, they form their own resistance committees, just as those they have presently formed in Intifada.
By means of images, you may have noticed that our eight-and-nine-year-old children defend our land against the occupation in an ascendant form.
We have a General Palestinian Youth Union and a General Palestinian Student Union (secondary and university), which are under the national leadership of the PLO.
-What activities does the Office develop in our country?
-We strongly thank the Argentine people for their solidarity towards our just Palestinian cause. By means of our Office, we are willing to show the martyrdom of our people. Besides, we want to get the possibility of opening our Palestine Embassy in Buenos Aires from the Argentine Government. We are not claiming for anything which our community does not deserve. Many other communities have their Embassies in Argentina, including Israel. We want to have those same rights in this country.
we have left a declaration project containing the signature of fifteen legislators
in order for the Palestine State and PLO to be acknowledged in Buenos Aires,
at the Honorable Chamber of Deputies on March 30, 1990. Unfortunately, we
have had no answer until today