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Erekat, Livni argue history at Munich meeting
Published Sunday 02/02/2014 (updated) 04/02/2014 09:34
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Erekat and Livni argued Sunday in Munich, officials said.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – A heated argument erupted Sunday between the chief PLO negotiator and his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni during a symposium about the Middle East peace process, Erekat's office said.

US Middle East envoy Martin Indic and international Quartet envoy Tony Blair were present at the meeting in Germany, at the Munich Security Forum, according to Erekat’s office.

The argument started when Livni used the Israeli term "Judea and Samaria" to describe the West Bank and urged the Palestinians to stop using Arabic names for cities like Haifa and Jaffa and to back down from demanding the return of Palestinian refugees to those cities, Erekat's office explained.

“Israel is a powerful state which owns 3,000 military tanks, 2,000 warplanes, nuclear weapons and full support by the US Congress. Thus, what are my chances against this?" Erekat was quoted as saying.

“However, Israel has to choose between three choices one of which is the two-state solution which I am proposing,” Erekat said.

The second choice, he added, if the Israelis want to call Jericho by their Hebrew names “Yeriho” and to call Nablus “Shkheim”, is one state for both peoples.

The third choice, added Erekat, is the use of security pretexts to justify “apartheid” in the West Bank. “Now in 2014, there are streets in the West Bank which I can’t use as a Palestinian,” he added.

Livni, according to Erekat's office, responded that “Saeb says that if I want to use the Jewish name Yeriho to describe his city Jericho, I can do that, but in that case there will be one state.”

Well, she added, “it’s not about historical presentation. These areas in the West Bank which we call Judea and Samaria are part of our history, and we will not be able to convince you of that just as you will not be able to convince us of your historical narrative.”

Thus, she added, it’s not about whose narrative is more just, and whose claim of the land is more rightful, but rather about the possibility to maintain hopes about two states for two peoples.

“When this happens, please Saeb, don’t use Arabic names to talk about places in Israel such as Jaffa and Haifa. Well, you can use Arab names, but don’t tell refugees who are waiting in Lebanon and other areas with the keys of their houses that they can return to live in these areas because that is against the two-state solution.”

Livni’s remarks angered Erekat, who replied, “You are talking about historical narratives? Yes it is. I am the son of Jericho. Last year I celebrated my city's 10,000th birthday. I am proud to be a descendent of the Canaanites who lived in Jericho 5,500 years before Joshua who burnt Jericho and I will not alter my history.”

Direct negotiations began in July between Israel and the Palestinians in a US-led attempt to restart the deadlocked peace process.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to push Israel and the Palestinians towards a framework agreement ahead of an agreed April deadline.
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1 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/02/2014 01:01
“it’s not about historical presentation. These areas in the West Bank which we call Judea and Samaria are part of our history...” Technically, no. Since the 'Palestinians' are overwhelmingly the descendants of the original inhabitants but few of the Jews making up 'Israel' are, these areas are far more part of Palestinian history than they are part of 'Israel's' history. 'Judea and Samaria' have always been in Palestine. They have never been in Yemen, Morocco, or Poland.

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/02/2014 01:05
"... we will not be able to convince you of that just as you will not be able to convince us of your historical narrative.” (I) This 'competing narratives' stuff is absolute crud. The Palestinian 'narrative' is a matter of simple historical fact: the 'Palestinians' are, and have always been, the people who live in Palestine -- whether they've called themselves Jews, Muslims, or Christians. The Zionist 'narrative,' on the other hand, is a pastiche of demonstrable falsehoods.

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/02/2014 01:08
II. It's as if a couple came to us and said that our son -- whom I watched my wife giving birth to on our bed -- was their son. They can't claim they have a 'competing narrative' and thereby establish some sort of claim. It would be nonsense -- and it would be precisely the same variety of nonsense one gets into whenever one discusses ANY aspect of Zionism. If there is a competition here, it's between simple truth and vicious lies -- that's all.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/02/2014 01:20
'it’s not about whose narrative is more just, and whose claim of the land is more rightful, but rather about the possibility to maintain hopes about two states for two peoples. ' This would be a little less nauseating if the speaker wasn't a representative of a group that has determinedly worked to destroy any possibility of a two state solution -- from their collaboration in the destruction of any possibility of a Palestinian state in 1947-48 to the propagation of the settlements of today.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/02/2014 01:25
Give me a Lieberman, a Yishai, or a Bennett over a Livni. At least with the former, the viciousness, arrogance, and fascism is frank and in the open. With a Livni, it's cloaked in superficially plausible verbal formulae.

6 ) assam ulangkaya / philippines
03/02/2014 01:27
UN created isreal state in 1948 via the philippines votes,i am wondering why this state never recognizes resolutions after resolutions of the world body that was instrument to her existence pertaining to the right of the palestinian to have their own country. their act of squatting land of the palestinian people is a barbaric act not of a civilize nation..shame on the isreali leadership.the world is against your barbaric attitudes toward helpless citizen of palestine..

7 ) Outlier / USA
03/02/2014 02:00
"The past is prologue," said Shakespeare. Peoples rise and fall, borders appear, move and disappear, peoples make war and peach, and war again and peace again, names are invented, gain currency and disappear. The past may provide perspective, but using history to dictate elements of the future is a tricky and usually futile endeavor.

8 ) True / History
03/02/2014 20:10
#1) "'Judea and Samaria' have always been in Palestine."

And Palestine was given that name during the 2nd century AD by the Roman Emperor Hadrien after deporting the indigenous JEWISH inhabitants. Wright, you talk BS, and you know it!

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/02/2014 22:25
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The fate of apartheid South Africa would be an object lesson for Israel -- if she was prepared to learn it. If the Jewish immigrants genuinely want to remain in Palestine, they need to agree to to an egalitarian, democratic state RIGHT NOW. It may or may not already be too late -- a decade from now it will definitely be too late.

10 ) Arnold / Canada
04/02/2014 00:07
assam # 6. as a country of intelligent people what happened to you. In 1947 the UN created the State of Israel. That automatically created the balance of territory to be the State of Palestine. Simple algebra. It was the Palestinians that attacked Israel in 1948. The Palestinians along with Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordon. READ MAN READ. Get your facts straight before looking to blame Israel.
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