The second diaspora conference was held yesterday in Bethlehem, with attendees from 22 countries. The conference was opened with national peace and a minute of mourning for the souls of the martyrs.
Prime Minister Mohammed Ashtiyeh announced his desire to resist the Israeli occupation’s recent plans to demolish 16 homes in Jerusalem. “We also will not deal with this unfair division of our land,” he said, “and we call on the world to intervene immediately to prevent the occupation from demolition.”
He stressed the religious importance of the land, referencing Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem and the prophet Mohammed’s time in Jerusalem.
The prime minister said: “This land is our land, and we who gave it its name, its essence and its identity, we will remain loyal to the geography of Palestine and to the Islamic and Christian story about Palestine.”
Bethlehem mayor Anton Salman said the conference was aimed at building bridges of communication between expatriate Palestinian people in different countries, and those in the homeland, after the “seven generations of alienation” that occured during the Ottoman rule, the British mandate and the Israeli occupation.
Rafael Masri, president of the Copacabal Federation, stressed that the commitment to Palestine is a moral and human obligation, and urged the expatriate Palestinians and the Bethlehem governorate to work for Palestine and Bethlehem in the countries where they live.
“We are people with will, dignity and dignity, a feeling that must be conveyed to all our children in the world. We will work for Palestine to teach the world about the reality of the Palestinians.”
He expressed the hope that the children of Palestine will have a constructive and positive role in the conference, in order to strengthen ties and relations between expatriates and their families in Palestine.
Dr. Imad Nabel Jada, Palestinian ambassador to Chile, said many people had never been to Palestine before, and were seeking to open family and economic projects, and work in exchange programs.
Some were also considering sending their children to study in universities in the West Bank to connect them to their homeland, he said.
He expressed the hope that there will be positive results to serve the cause and the future state, with Jerusalem as its capital.