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Just Thank You, for Now
Last uploaded : Monday 22nd Dec 2003 at 10:17
Contributed by : Hazem Saghiyeh


Just Thank You. For Now.
Hazem Saghiyeh

The virtual agreement, as Yasser Abed Rabbo and Yossi Beilin described it in their joint article (International Herald Tribune), may or may not become actual and official. However, in the meantime, some major breakthroughs, which the Geneva Accord promises to actualize, must be noted.

As was mentioned time and again, Ariel Sharon's claim that there is no Palestinian partner was refuted. The implicit pretext of the radicals, both Arab and Jew, which, through their preconditions and demands, suggests the perpetual impossibility of settlement, was contested. Though none of them says that the settlement is impossible to reach, the explosive events of the last few years and preconditions have nourished their nihilistic desires, and have promoted the leaning toward converting the temporary into permanent.

The Middle East appeared in the eye of the world once again, after a time of apparent abandonment by all but violence, blood, and corpses in great numbers. Somehow, Geneva embodied some of the greatest symbols of our world: Switzerland?s neutrality. Nelson Mandela's voice. Lech Walesa's revolution. Jimmy Carter's ethics. The role of the European Union and the United Nations. The idea of civil society initiating peace.

Because Ariel Sharon is like a raging bull, and Yasser Arafat is like a color- changing snake, the former was angrily absent, and the latter was represented by a delegation and a speech - this is why Palestine looked as if it was more officially presented in the event than Israel.

Abed Rabbo and Beilin, on the other hand, come from backgrounds that do not have anything to do with the military, security, corruption, and can be classified as intellectual politicians. They belong to a left wing that has become mature and pragmatic over time through the bitter experience of the past years. Although it might not be seen as a strong point, in an age dominated by George W. Bush, it would be in the long run; despite the current weakness of this political stream, it posses the ability to integrate in the contemporary and progressive world.

The Geneva Accord has the ability to lighten the world from the burdens of nationalism, racism, religion, fanaticism and their wars. More than any other initiative, it can clear the page of Palestine and Israel in the world, and both nations are in deep need of that: because of the military arrogance and the enmity of the occupation that the latter practices, as well as because of the suicide operations and corruption in the authority of the former. There is a hope that the Geneva Accord may help us get out of the barbarism of colonialism, settlements, suicide operations and killing for the sake of killing, and by all sorts of racism towards Islam and Muslims, as much as towards Jews and Semitism. There is also the promised entry into constructive dialogue.

Out of this understanding, the Swiss meeting revived with its "virtuality" the optimistic memory of 1993. It enabled lovers of just peace to raise their voices once again. It is true that there are still too many obstacles, but a small oasis can be created.

There is much to be criticized. However, the current moment requires saying thanks, and only thanks, to two brave men: Yasser Abed Rabbo and Yossi Beilin.

# # #

Source: Al-Hayat, December 3, 2003

Visit the Al-Hayat website at: http://english.daralhayat.com/

Distributed by the Common Ground News Service.


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