Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land
“The European Attitudes
A lecture delivered by His Excellency Professor Manuel Hassassian,
the Ambassador of Palestine to the United Kingdom
(Mr. Mousa Darwish, Moderator)
Peace Center, Bethlehem
Tens of Palestinians of various sectors of society listened to their former colleague and dear friend in the Bethlehem area, Professor Hassassian, who spoke about European attitudes towards the Palestinian national unity government as seen by him as ambassador of Palestine to the United Kingdom. Personal experiences of Ambassador Hassassian in London since November 2005 only enriched the content of the address and left deep impressions on the audience as was seen later in the question and the answer session of the lecture.
Professor Hassassian described British official attitudes as being “shy” like those of Germany and Holland that are closely tied with American negative attitudes towards the Palestinian national unity government. European governments are insisting on the Quartet’s (U.S., U.N., Russia, European community) conditions recognizing Palestinian national unity government led by HAMAS. For example, Dr. Ziyad Abu Amr, the Palestinian Foreign Minister’s recent visit with Lord Levy in British Ministry of Exterior in London only accentuated the Quartet position. Thus, European attitudes as a whole are weak due to their total dependence on the American position towards the Palestinians.
On the other hand the popular British attitudes are more sympathetic toward Palestinians. Many demonstrations are being held in support of Palestinians. Some members, of the House of Lords and the House of Commons are in clear support of the just cause of Palestinians. Some even want the British government to apologize for Palestinians for British wrong doings resulting from the Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917) and the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.
Professor Hassassian stressed the importance of Arab ambassadors in London in clarifying the just cause of the Palestinian Problem. Our battle today, Professor Hassassian concluded, is not a military battle but a battle of the mass media. It is clear that Israel does not want peace. It wants more land.Following his talk a reception was held in honor of the Ambassador of Palestine. Palestine national unity cabinet member and Minister of Tourism, Dr. Kholoud D’ebes, as well as members of the Palestine Legislative Council, Mr. Fayez Sacca and Mr. ‘Isa Qaraqi’, with the other guests of Al-Liqa’ attended the reception.