Monday, September 02, 2002

Abdel Razzak al-Yahya Calls For Palestinian Violence To Stop -- Again



He is the Interior Minister of the Palestinian Authority and said the same thing a few days ago. He is one of few and is to be commended for that. He is saying it to news organizations like Reuters but it's unclear what message is going out in Arabic.

"All resistance acts that are characterized by violence, such as using arms or even stones ... are harmful. I call for civil resistance within the framework of the political struggle."

It was the most far-reaching call for non-violence made by a member of the Palestinian leadership since the uprising erupted in September 2000 after peace talks with Israel stalled.

Maybe the most far-reaching call for non-violence in Palestinian history. Their peace movement is not exactly well-developed. al-Yahya should be encouraged. For a brief moment the Palestinians had captured the moral high ground. Arafat's corruption, embezzlement and refusal to accept any settlement that mysteriously needed to included 'right of return' for everyone who says they are Palestinian and whose family once lived in Israel scuttled peace. His adamant militant stance and the correspondent suicide bombing frittered away the last bit of moral capital they had. The onus is now on them to regain it if they want peace and security on their own land.

Article Here

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