WE ARE NOT READY TO SURRENDER
In an Open Letter delivered to PLO President Abbas Thursday 10 April, 108 eminent Palestinians emphasise that he has no authority to accept or reject a final settlement proposal, and say: We are not ready to surrender. They urge him to walk away from the Kerry negotiations, to refuse to engage with any Framework agreement, and to declare the Oslo agreement null and void.
These decisions, they say, can only be considered by the Palestine National Council, whose members have to be chosen by all Palestinians in free, fair and open elections. Even then, many Palestinian rights are vested in individuals and are not the property of any leadership to negotiate.
The signatories include leading academics in every discipline, engineers, surgeons and lawyers. With a few exceptions, they are not political writers and activists.
They remind Abbas that the parameters of all talks so far preclude the fundamental right of self determination and the minimal “hallmarks of sovereignty” but are merely “the shimmering and evanescent outline” of an independent state and have never addressed the needs even of those resident in the lands occupied in 1967, let alone the exiles. The rights of those living within pre-1967 Israel will only be diminished and endangered by the demand of Israel for recognition as a “Jewish state”. If there were any benefits at all from the talks, the majority of the Palestinian people are excluded.
The say that “the time has come, once and for all,
* to declare a final break from the pattern of endless negotiations established at Oslo,
* to refuse to be drawn into any Framework agreement to extend the talks
* to draw up a statement of principles for peace that is premised on the internationally-recognized rights and needs of all Palestinians, and
* to facilitate a new dialogue among the Palestinian people about the future and aims of the Palestinian struggle, and the appropriate means to secure the rights of all Palestinians.
The message ends: “we are not ready to surrender, and we reject the attempt by anyone to surrender in our names”, and calls on Abbas as Chairman of the PLO to “recall without delay a democratically reconstituted Palestine National Council (PNC) and entrust it with the process to articulate a new path to a just and lasting peace that will secure the rights of the Palestinian people.”
See the full text and list of signatories in Documents
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