Israeli and Palestinian activists gathered in Ramallah for a "peace conference" earlier this month organized by Minds of Peace, a non-for-profit dedicated to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, journalist Khaled Abu Toameh writes for the Gatestone Institute, Palestinian protesters attacked the hotel upon the Israelis' arrival, chanting slogans against their presence.
"Israelis out, out! Palestine is Arab, from the sea to the river," a female protester shouted. The Israeli activists were forced to leave with Palestinian Authority (PA) police escorts as the violence escalated.
The planned two-day conference was halted and the following day activists from both sides attempted to meet at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem. Once again, "anti-normalization" demonstrators forced the participants to evacuate to avoid a violent confrontation. These encounters are representative of similar occurrences in the past, forcing peace activists to meet in secret locations or in various countries around the world.
The Israelis, who oppose their government's policies and openly support the Palestinian cause, risk their lives by entering Ramallah in a genuine effort to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. More importantly, most of the protesters have an affiliation with the Palestinian Authority. In addition, Palestinian journalists warned the demonstrators of the meetings and insisted that they take action. Not one Palestinian official issued condemnation of these grave incidents, Abu Toameh notes. These developments further emphasize that the broader Palestinian society is not comfortable with the notion of normalizing relations with the Jewish state potentially rendering a future peace agreement futile.