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Ashrawi: Jerusalem 'a symbol of peace, surrounded by checkpoints'
Published Saturday 10/05/2014 (updated) 12/05/2014 10:17
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Hanan Ashrawi (MaanImages/File)
STOCKHOLM (Ma'an) -- PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi addressed the Nordic Jerusalem Conference in Sweden on Friday, stressing the importance of Jerusalem for Palestinians.

Jerusalem is a symbol of peace, but it is surrounded by military checkpoints, a separation wall, and settlements, Ashrawi said.

The city is part and parcel of Palestinian history and culture, she added.

Ashrawi also asserted that diversity is a key factor in Palestinian society.

The idea of Palestine consisting of "one religion or one color or one sect ... is impossible because the history and culture of Palestine has always reflected cultural and religious diversity," the PLO official said.

Palestinian Ambassador to Sweden Hala Fariz also addressed the conference, saying Israel was attempting to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem and the West Bank by demolishing homes and displacing Palestinians in order to build settlements.

Palestinian lawmaker Abdullah Abdullah attended the conference, along with a delegation from the PLO's Department of Expatriates Affairs. Delegations from several European and Arab countries also attended the meeting.

The two-day conference, held May 9 and 10 in the Swedish Parliament building in Stockholm, was organized by the Swedish-Palestinian Parliamentary Commission and the Jerusalem Committee in Sweden.

Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

It considers all of Jerusalem its "eternal, undivided" capital and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

Some 350,000 Jewish settlers live in West Bank settlements, in addition to another 200,000 Israelis settled in occupied and annexed East Jerusalem.

The international community views all settlement building on occupied Palestinian land as illegal.
1 ) fourbytwo / UK
10/05/2014 15:00
''Jerusalem is a symbol of peace, but it is surrounded by military checkpoints, a separation wall, and settlements.'' Someone tell her in ARABIC, that her people have a long history of suicide bombings of cafes, hotels, and transport systems, .and sending their children to martyrdom by blowing themselves up with explosive vests. It's so twentieth century.

2 ) Outlier / USA
10/05/2014 18:32
Actually, it is a symbol of Palestinian ambition. Jews considered it their capital long before the Palestinian movement existed (let alone decided to demand it as their capital) and Israel currently controls it. Because of the above, despite Palestinian dreams and demands, it is unlikely they will have anything but a token governmental presence there in a final peace agreement.

3 ) Guns, Bombs, & Blood / Checkpoints
10/05/2014 19:01
-1- A border is in development, between Israel and "Palestine", and every border has checkpoints, even friendly borders, like Canada-USA, and -2- Israel & "Palestine" have not known peace for 66 years, and probably will never know peace, so the checkpoint are in place & needed to keep: - Arab guns and bombs out of the "Symbol of Peace", and - Jewish blood from being spilled in the streets of the "Symbol of Peace".

4 ) @ Ms Ashrawi / Truth
10/05/2014 19:32
Perhaps you were misquoted or quoted out of context, since you know * MUSLIMS WOULD BE USING GUNS AND BOMBS in Jerusalem's streets, cafes, and shopping centers today, just as they have in the past, * IF NOT FOR CHECKPOINTS, so though Jerusalem is - a "Symbol of PEACE" FOR CHRISTIANS & JEWS, it is obviously more - a Symbol of JIHAD FOR MUSLIMS, where many Islamic flags often show Jerusalem's Mosque with guns & bombs above &/or below !!

5 ) Mel / USA
10/05/2014 21:33
#1,2,3,4,: LOL! Who let the colony dogs out? It looks like its Zio-bot shill day today! I'd counter with all sorts of history &facts,but your tunnel-vision,indoctrinated stupidity,speaks for itself.
When Zionism offends all pluralistic Palestine,it insults us ALL.
Muslims,Christians,Jews & history/culture,equally!
Bravo Hanan aw har de bra aw tak sa lenger Norske. And Svenska,mange tak skal du ha!

6 ) @ fourbytwo #1 / Beliefs
11/05/2014 00:14
Actually, Hanan Ashrawi attended two American Universities, both in Beriut & Virginia, so she can probably read more languages than you can, and since she is a Christian, I believe it is not "her people with a long history of (rocket launching &) * SUICIDE BOMBING of cafes, hotels, and transport systems", etc., and * ONLY MUSLIMS are "blowing themselves up with explosive vests, in the twentieth century".

7 ) Mutassim / Palestine
11/05/2014 00:54
In response to the usual troll comments, there have been no martyrdom operations for a number of years now, so the checkpoint & wall argument is redundant. Settlements are illegal according to Intl Law, as is the occupation of E.Jerusalem. Speaking of guns and bombs, wasn't the State of Israel founded on the exploits of Zionist terrorists such as Irgun who laid bombs & killed civilians at The Grand Saraya (Yaffa) and King David Hotel (Jerusalem) not to mention the exploits of Stern and Haganah.

8 ) Natasha / USA
11/05/2014 02:23
Plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Palestinians need to demonstrate political maturity, i.e. stop focusing on blowing up or destroying Israel and put their energies into building the institutions of a functioning nation, even while still under occupation. Once they prove they can govern themselves peacefully and get along with their neighbors, Israel will be forced to let them have a state. Why have the Palestinians never tried non-violence a la Gandhi in India?

9 ) betz55 / USA
11/05/2014 06:44
@1234=Baloney.Under international law, neither East nor West Jerusalem is considered Israel’s capital.Tel Aviv is recognised as Israel’s capital.East J'lem is considered by the international community to be illegally occupied by Israel, in contravention of several binding UN Security Council Resolutions.For terrorism look no further than the illegal settler squats who threaten,take over homes, and terrorize the Palestinians there.Facts are facts so stop your idiotic rants, shame on you.

10 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
11/05/2014 15:03
Hey Mel, hate to remind you but you are the one who is the colonial dog. You seem to forget your facts and history - you, Mel, are the settler in the colonies built on illegally stolen lands. You abused the natives and slaves and minorities for 400 years before you decided to start becoming pluralistic. Should you put yourself on trial for war crimes, Mel?

11 ) Mel / USA
11/05/2014 16:29
#8:Natasha/USA:LOL! Please girl,go &study the history of old&neo colonialism/racism/bigotry(esp.affecting India,Africa,Australasia,N&S America's,Euro-Zionism(ZO)1890's ) & "maturely" rebuild your flawed logic .Or,just go back to BFF'ing on"facet boooook". 'Plenty of blame to go around on both sides"? Riiiiiiight,that's like blaming occupied Jews,Catholics,Romanies,dissidents,children,mentally/physically sick for starting the Nazi Holocaust!

12 ) Michael Collins / Eire
11/05/2014 16:33
@8: Listen to yourself Natasha, why didn't the US try non-violence Ghandi style after 9/11, instead of waging the war on terror & destroying the lives of millions. Resistance is a legitimate tool for a country under occupation. There are also rules (Geneva Convention) for warfare, fact! Not everyone believes in pacifism, some people fight for their rights. Palestine has been let down badly by the international community, yet they still try to push forward for peace & resolution. There is nothing

13 ) Michael Collins / Eire
11/05/2014 16:35
(cont) that they (the Palestinians) have to prove, they are recognised as a state by the UN and have the right to self determination. The US in particular has no qualms about propping up certain dysfunctional states around the globe, mainly because it suits their interests to do so. The Palestinians having unified, are now in the position to either further negotiate with Israel (on equal terms), or go to the ICC to obtain their rights. I wouldn’t wait too long to choose between the two.

14 ) @ Mutassim-7 / USA
11/05/2014 17:27
- The "Martyrdom Operations" (Terrorism) came first, and "checkpoint & wall" Security Measures came as a result, just as Hamas' war-crime rocket attacks came first, and war & naval blockade followed, and - The Security Measures are the Main Reason "there have been no martyrdom operations for a number of years now", just as war and naval blockade stopped Hamas' rocket attacks, so - The "checkpoint & wall (& blockade) argument is NOT redundant", at least until Pals sign Peace Agreements !!!

15 ) Arnold / Canada
11/05/2014 19:08
It was the Jewish people that named the city Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the heart and center of Judaism. When Islam opens Mecca back to Jews then Jews will be more forthcoming with Muslims. Mecca AND Medina once had thriving Jewish communites. It was a back stabbing by Islam that Jews no longer could live there. Just read history.

16 ) Giacomo / USA
11/05/2014 20:57
Diversity? Pluralism? Representation? In a land led by leaders like Hanan that have been totally incapable ever, of creating a democracy representative of the Palestinian people? On what criteria are you making your claims? And what of the status of 'unity' - what HAVE you accomplished in your own peace process? Why do blame everyone but yourselves when you cannot even create peace among yourselves first? We who genuinely want peace in the ME want to know. That's why J is cordoned off.

17 ) Outlier / USA
11/05/2014 22:08
5., 9, Mel and betz, enjoyed your versions of history, fiction though they are. Should Palestinian statehood hinge on East Jerusalem - and it almost certainly will - expect the Palestinians to cede all but a token political presence. Pure and simple, Palestinian statehood will be more important than this piece of land.

18 ) Tom / USA
11/05/2014 22:33
Israel needs to renounce violence, recognize the inalienable rights of the indigenous people, and withdraw from illegally occupied territory. It's the only way Israel can prove that it has the maturity be be a nation state. It's own behavior is a ticking bomb.

19 ) JoeFattal / USA
12/05/2014 02:08
The Palestinian independence of Israel depends of Israel independency of the Palestinians. It is not that hard to accomplish. If Israel return to the 67 lines and stop crying over what they lost during the war, Palestinians statehood will be accomplished and Israel will be free from any guilt that proves their illegal occupying territories. Why its so hard to accomplish.?.

20 ) Anwar / Qatar
12/05/2014 14:27
Well said Dr Ashrawi, Al Quds, symbol of peace belongs to Palestine & we know the reasons they cling so dearly to it. For sure the Palestinians would love to stop the resistance, sign a peace agreement & live normal lives in the State of Palestine. If only Israel would believe in the terms laid out in the Arab Peace Initiative, negotiate & return to the 67 lines, this could be resolved once & for all. Its not hard, it's just fear by those whose paranoia makes them unable to trust & move forward.
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