Friday, January 21, 2005

Geneva Initiative

By Hatem Abunimeh

When I went to sign a replica of the Geneva Accord document that spelled out a peace plan between Israel & the Palestinians at a hotel conference room in downtown Chicago on behalf an organization called Peace Now or (Yalla Salam)... The conference room was jammed with Israeli & Palestinian officials,media representatives,and security guards standing at the door.Immediately upon my arrival,the first thought that came to my mind is :What if a Palestinian suicide bomber arrives during the press conference and sits amongst the audience with intent to blow himself up for thinking that we are nothing but collaborators with the Israelis.It is a shame to admit it but I was scouting all the attendants one by one trying to figure out if I knew any body or if any one of them might look like a suicide bomber.Although I never met a suicide bomber and I hope I never do but being from a Mideastern origins myself I thought I might be able to detect the presence or the strange movements of a suicide bomber.Fortunately,the press conference ended peacefully and we signed our names on a huge replica of the Geneva accord and there were no suicide bombers amongst us,but the thought of it sends chills down anybody's spine.During the ceremony,they gave us lapels that have the Israeli and the Palestinian flags attached side by side with one another,and the first thing I did when I got home is give my youngest son one of the flags to show it to his fiancé who is Jewish,several days later I asked my son about the reaction of his fiancé when he showed her the Palestinian and the Israeli flags attached together on the lapel side by side,he told me that she squinted but hasn't said a single word.I'm still at a loss until now as to what her reaction means,as I wasn't able to tell if the glass was half full or half empty.

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