Buenos Aires – from November 18 to November 24, 1988
The Intifada has achieved more than three wars (view)
Suhail Akel was born in Jerusalem, arrived in Argentina as a refugee together with his family in 1948 and today is the representative of the Palestine Information Office in Argentina. Sitting behind a desk of his office in Rosario, with walls completely filled with posters and pictures, he stated – in a conversation with El Periodista- that “Israeli election results are a fatal blow for progress towards a dignified peace between Palestinians and Israelis. With Likud in government, state terrorism will be intensified”.
-Could the situation have been different in case of a labour victory?
-I do not believe it. Labour has shown no interest in achieving an international peace conference with the Palestinians who are represented by their sole conduction: the PLO. Judging on this, their proposed peace conference with Jordan would be an accord between that Arab country and Israel, but not between Israel and the Palestinian people. In many opportunities Shimon Peres has expressed himself –including after the Socialist International Meeting held in Spain- that he would not speak with the PLO. Furthermore, Labour has shown no differences with Likud in relation to the Intifada. On the contrary, it has shown its unconditional support to repression. Yizthak Rabin has clearly spoken in Parliament: “We have deported three times as many Palestinians as you”, when he answered the questions of MPs from the Likud. As Minister of Defence, he was the architect of the repression policy.
-What are the prospects for the Intifada, taking into account this new political setting?
-Just as Israel intensifies its state terrorism, the Intifada increase its actions to definitely fortify our Independent Palestinian State. The Intifada has already defeated Israel in all possible levels. Politically, Israel is internationally isolated due to its brutal repression towards unarmed people who resist occupation. Today, it only counts with one influential ally: the United States. Economically, the Palestinian workers’ strikes have damaged its economy in over 2,000 million dollars. Militarily, the powerful Israeli war machine was brought to a halt by the stones. In short, the Intifada has achieved what has not been accomplished in three Arab Israeli wars: to divide Israelis more than ever between those who are in favour of returning the occupied territories and those who are against, causing a great internal crack in the Fascist system.
-What are your expectations with regard to the future attitude of the Argentine government in relation to the Middle East conflict?
-In the international forums, the Argentine government has always been clear on this issue with regard to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to possess its own Independent State by means of an International Peace Conference with the participation of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Until today, there is no permission for the opening of a PLO diplomatic office in the country. Nevertheless, we, Palestinians, continue confident that this democratic government or the one which will emerge from the elections next year will authorise this right Palestinians need, just as the Israelis need their embassy in Argentina.