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  1. oliveoyl

    4,788 Posts.



    November 06, 2003

    Palestinian MP Ashrawi: Hatred in Australia worse than in Israel

    Palestinian parliament member Hanan Ashrawi, to be awarded the Sydney Peace Prize Thursday, said she was bewildered by the "hatred" her selection had created in Australia.

    Dr. Hanan Ashrawi was to be presented with the prize Thursday night by NSW Premier Bob Carr for her work for Middle East peace and her representation of the Palestinian people.

    The decision has been strongly criticized by several Jewish groups, who accuse Ashrawi of "demonizing Israel and failing to condemn Palestinian terror groups like Hamas."

    Meanwhile, Australia's Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer waded into the debate, suggesting former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas as a preferable candidate.

    Sydney Mayor Lucy Turnbull will not attend the presentation, even though the City of Sydney is the event's main sponsor, The Australian reported on Thursday, due to her disapproval of the nomination.

    During a press conference in Sydney Thursday, Ashrawi said she had been surprised by the viciousness of the attacks on her credibility.

    "I was amazed at the degree of, not just negative response, but a certain degree of hatred, which I don't find even with my discussion with Israelis," she said.

    "I felt that the further away people are from the situation and the conflict the more licence they give themselves to distort and to interfere negatively. I don't know why feelings are so high here."

    For his part, Carr said Ashrawi spoke the language of peace, and he stood by his decision to present the award. "Anyone who believes in a negotiated settlement to achieve a two-state solution is talking the right language Ð let's engage with them," he said. (Albawaba.com)
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