Palestinians again nix coexistence conference

Political activists say they oppose conference because it is a form of “normalization” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Sari Nusseibeh 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Sari Nusseibeh 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
For the second day in a row, Palestinians thwarted an attempt by Israeli and Palestinian peace activists to hold a conference – this time in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.
On Monday, a similar conference organized by the Israeli Palestinian Confederation [IPC] was canceled at the last minute after Palestinian protesters staged a demonstration in front of the east Jerusalem hotel where the gathering was supposed to take place.
RELATED:Opinion: How coexistence projects can hinder peaceAnti-‘normalization’ Palestinians protest peace meeting
The demonstrators said they were opposed to the conference because it was a form of “normalization” between Israel and the Palestinians.
The protesters belonged to various Palestinian political groups.
The event at the Ambassador Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah was canceled after some of the protesters entered the conference hall and confiscated booklets and documents prepared by the IPC.
The protesters also demanded that the owner of the hotel immediately cancel the conference.
Al-Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh, who was supposed to participate in Monday’s conference, did not show up, apparently after being warned that the protesters might try to harm him physically.
The demonstrators shouted slogans against Nusseibeh, accusing him of spearheading efforts to normalize relations between Israelis and Palestinians.
On Tuesday, a similar protest was held in Beit Jala, where the IPC was planning to hold its second conference.
However, this event was also called off out of fear for the safety of the participants.
Scores of Palestinians who gathered outside the Beit Jala conference hall shouted slogans strongly condemning the organizers and threatening to thwart the conference.