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Are Libya's Palestinians ready for the post-Gaddafi era?

By       Message Franklin P. Lamb       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Moammar Gaddafi is no exception and while his rule appears to be coming to an end, his influence in Libya on the Palestinian issue may not be. Moammar Gaddafi has earned a respectful place in the history of the Palestinian Revolution. He stands above most other Arab leaders in his unalterable resistance stance and his unwillingness not to waiver in his demands for the full Right of Return of all diaspora Palestinian refugees to their country.

Despite some mercurial behavior following Oslo and a couple of other times, Gaddafi's granting of internationally recognized human rights to all Palestinian refugees hosted by Libya, in the current period Libya ranks close to Jordan and about equal with Syria is supporting, over the past 30 years, those whose land and homes were stolen by Zionist colonizers.

Yet there is demonstrable apprehension among a significant number of Palestinians in Libya that the new "NATO government" will not only recognize Israel and turn over to Israelis significant chunks of the Libyan economy, but that whatever government emerges may also curtail refugee rights in this country pending their return to Palestine.

Some have told this observer that if Gaddafi is not to return, at least his children ardently support the Palestinian cause and can hopefully influence the future actions of the new government.

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But now that also is perhaps unlikely.

According to Aisha, she and her older brother Saif often talked politics with their Father and once had a contest several years ago to see who could recite for their doting father during his birthday dinner, the list of all the failed "peace plans" dealing with Palestine. Aisha, who was, grades wise, the best of the Gaddafi bunch in school, won the sibling contest. Aisha's recitation of failed "peace plans", was:

" Peace proposals of Count Folke Bernadotte (1947-1948), UN Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967), Land for peace (1967), Jarring Mission (1967-1971), Allon Plan 26 July 1967, Rogers Plan (1969), UN Security Council Resolution 338 (October 22, 1973), Reagan Plan (Sept. 1, 1982), Oslo Accords (1993), Wye River Memorandum (October 23, 1998), Camp David 2000 Summit (2000), The Clinton Parameters (December 23, 2000), Taba summit (January, 2001), Elon Peace Plan (2002), Nusseibeh-Ayalon Agreement (2002), Arab Peace Initiative (March 28, 2002), The People's Voice (July 27, 2002), and The Road Map for Peace (April 30, 2003)."

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And she claims she still can do it plus the more recent failures!

Saif, is an equally strong advocate of Palestinian rights and as is the case with his father and siblings, he advocates for a single state solution as he did in several lectures in England, including at Chatham House and elsewhere.

According to Saif, "My Father told us that before we were born he liked to read Mao's Little Red Book of Quotations and more than once he wrote Chairman Mao to discuss some details. Then Father wrote the Green Book  in two volumes and finally both of us worked on the White Book. The White Book project was something we both enjoyed and we believe it is the only workable solution. I think most Palestinians in Libya agree but you can ask them."

It appears to this observer that the Palestinian refugees in Libya, no doubt having been influenced by the countless speeches by Moammar Gaddafi on the subject over the past four decades, are among the most ardent supporters, within the Palestinian community, of a One State solution to the Question of Palestine.

The White Book analyses the history of Palestine, notes the many defects with a two-state solution and proposes a single state, called, "Isratine."Saif and Aisha explained that the name may seem a little silly and some have ridiculed it but that the first Parliament could choose the name it preferred for the new country."

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Whether Saif will be able to continue his family's work on the Question of Palestine is currently problematical.

A team of six international lawyers, organized by two Americans, at the request of long time Gaddafi allies, has asked Aisha, herself an experienced lawyer, to join the legal team that is preparing to defend Saif against any charges brought by the International Court of Justice (ICC) or inside Libya. Aisha has worked on a number of legal projects including defending Muntadhar al-Zaidi when he faced charges stemming from the George Bush shoe-hurling incident in Baghdad.

 

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)
 

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