Monday, August 11, 2003

THE WALL ON THE GREEN LINE; NOT INSIDE PALESTINIAN TERRITORY
Rafi Dajani of the American Task Force on Palestine summarizes what I've been trying to say about the wall, in a response to Robert Novak's op-ed:

Regarding the Aug. 3 Outlook interview with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the issue is not whether Israel has the right to build a fence. It does have the right to protect its citizens. But the fence should be on Israeli land and not on confiscated Palestinian land, which affects the livelihood of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians.

The fence is being built on Palestinian land to absorb Israeli West Bank settlements that would be left outside the fence if it were built along the 1967 border. The settlements themselves are in occupied territory in violation of international law and numerous United Nations resolutions.

Finally, once all phases of the fence are complete, the Palestinian population will be confined to three unconnected cantons on only 55 percent of the Palestinians' West Bank land. This is hardly consistent with President Bush's vision of an independent and viable Palestinian state.
ABBAS GOES ROME
Now the Associated Press reports that Mahmoud Abbas will be meeting with...the pope.
Pope John Paul II will meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas on Aug. 26 at the pontiff's summer residence outside Rome, Palestinian officials said Monday.
Well, that's another way of strengthening Abbas. Not so sure it will help. The pope and the Dixie Chicks combined couldn't stop Bush from going to war.

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