- Published on Thursday, 23 August 2012 12:06
On Thursday, August 23rd, PLO Executive Committee member and head of the PLO Department of Culture and Information, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, sharply criticized Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's recent letter to the Mideast Quartet.
In his letter penned to the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Lieberman called to oust the Palestinian President in a bid to revitalize the peace process.
"Official statements and policies such as those espoused by Lieberman and his ilk are creating a culture of impunity, racism and exclusivity" – Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said in a press release.
She added that a real obstacle to the peace process is not the Palestinian leadership but the nature of Israeli occupation with its apartheid policies, annexation of Palestinian land, expropriation, ethnic cleansing, demolitions of homes, construction and expansion of illegal settlements.
Dr. Ashrawi also said that the recent violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem and Hebron by Israeli Jews were not isolated incidents.
"In this context, it is not surprising that such a culture is generating violence, hate crimes, and settler terrorism" – she said.
Dr. Ashrawi called upon members of the Middle East Quarter to stop tolerating Israel's violations of international and humanitarian law.
"The lack of willingness of the international community to hold Israel accountable has already resulted in the degradation of moral values and human rights principles, particularly when the victims are Palestinian. The status quo is not sustainable, and the international community must act now before such a culture of impunity creates irreversible damage," – Dr. Ashrawi concluded.
Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak distanced themselves from the opinions stated in the Lieberman's letter, saying that it does not represent the official position of the government of Israel.