I participated in a fascinating encounter with Palestinian businessman/public personality Munib al-Masri in Tel Aviv last Thursday, June 26th. He had some very interesting things to say to the Israeli public, and here’s what I wrote about the event; find sample below and click link to my entire piece at The Times of Israel:
The Palestinian Peace Now
“People always ask where is the Palestinian Peace Now?”
. . . [Munib al-Masri] said that President Abbas was committed to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based upon at two state solution, with a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, living in peace alongside the State of Israel, was against the use of violence, and had ensured that the new Palestinian unity government, the product of the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, was committed to the goal of peace with the State of Israel and would stand by all international agreements signed by President Abbas, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. When asked about the refugee question, he added that although he himself was not a refugee, Abbas was a refugee from Safed, and had no desire to return to his home town, only to visit as a tourist. . . .Al-Masri was one of the primary facilitators of the recent reconciliation agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas, a goal he had been working towards during the past seven years. . . . al- Masri defended the reconciliation as a great achievement, particularly since it was carried out on Fatah’s terms. And he added, the Israelis have always claimed that Abbas only represented half of the Palestinian people. Now he is speaking on behalf of all the Palestinians. He also praised [Abbas’s] courage in condemning the kidnapping, in Saudi Arabia no less, while noting that three young Palestinians had been killed by IDF soldiers in the West Bank since then as well. . . .