Despite 2 previous meetings with PA Chairman Abbas, the esteemed Israeli delegation rejected the latest invitation to meet after failing to condemn countless murders, including the butchering of 13 yr-old Hallel Ariel while she slept, refusing to accept President Rivlin’s invitation to meet, and breaking his promise to meet with Netanyahu ‘anytime, anywhere.’
By Itamar Eichner
Dozens of Israeli intellectuals and cultural figures who met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the past have recently rejected another invitation to meet with him due to his refusal to condemn the murder of 13-year-old Hallel Ariel and his refusal to meet with President Reuven Rivlin in Brussels.
The group, organized by the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry and led by Sam Ben-Shitrit, includes some 70 figures including former minister Prof. Shimon Shetreet, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Dr. Yehuda Lancry, Israel Prize laureate Prof. Shmuel Moreh, actor Yossi Alfi, former MK Dr. Yosef Vanunu, Rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife) Bruria Zvuluni, Rabbi Abraham Golan Amzaleg, and 17 other heads of Mizrahi organizations.
The group considers itself apolitical and says it belongs to neither the left nor right wing (with some of its members living in the settlements) but does declare its support of an independent Palestinian state.Its members met with Abbas twice before and with his senior advisors four times. In all of the meetings, the group asked their Palestinian hosts to stop incitement to violence in the media and in textbooks.
The meetings were held with the blessing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also later updated on them.
Recently, Ben-Shitrit received another invitation to meet with Abbas from Dr. Ziad Darwish, a Palestinian journalist and a member of the Palestinian Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society.
Ben-Shitrit rejected the invitation and answered Darwish, “This isn’t an appropriate time after Abbas’s appearance at the European (Parliament) and his refusal to meet with the president of Israel. He did not strongly condemn the murderer of a girl in her bed, is not ordering the cessation of incitement in the media that is under his control, and above all: He did not keep his unambiguous promise to us in our first meeting with him that he would send a personal letter to Netanyahu and initiate a meeting with him. If Abbas has any smart advisors, they should advise him to initiate a meeting with Netanyahu. I assure you, Netanyahu will be happy to have such a meeting.”
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