‘Support Palestinian soft power’

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KUWAIT CITY, May 21: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim stressed the need to support the Palestinian soft power in his speech at the emergency meeting of the Arab Parliamentary Union held in Cairo, Egypt recently to deliberate on the current situation in Jerusalem, Israel. Al-Ghanim called for concerted efforts towards the unity of Palestinians with national reconciliation as a vital factor in maintaining their steadfastness.

A group photo of the participants in the 33rd emergency conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union under the title (Al-Aqsa Mosque and all Islamic and Christian holy sites, our first priority).

He highlighted the importance of the emergency meeting despite the negative comments of those promoting disappointment and surrender by spreading false allegations that such meetings and conferences are useless as they lead to nothing but condemnation and objection. He said every forum where Palestine is mentioned and every television news report on Jerusalem are very important, as the struggle against the enemy has always been a conflict between vivid memory and oblivion, and between confirmation and demolition. He pointed out the enemy fears the vivid memory of Palestinians and it has left no stone unturned in introducing itself as the oasis of democracy, pluralism and progress; while it is exposed daily as a terrorist State which feeds on occupying territories and stealing land, artifacts, folklore, culture, literature, music, traditions and habits.

He asserted he was not exaggerating when he said that the Palestinians are engulfed in everlasting curse and dilemma due to the enemy. “Indeed, the Palestinians are the colonizers’ nightmare. Every bullet shot by the occupier is a huge step towards the abyss,” he added. He went on to say that it is not an exaggeration to portray the reality in a poetic manner; indicating Shireen Abu Aqla – who was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in Jenin, West Bank recently – did not carry a weapon, stone or even a signboard. He stressed the slain reporter was merely protecting the Palestinian memory as part of her media work, adding the enemy is fully aware that a footage is often stronger than a rifl e. Since the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani until that of Shireen Abu Aqla, the enemy has realized the importance of soft power manifested in poverty, movies, songs, traditional dances and heritage. Setting aside the stereotypes on Palestinian youths like wearing a face mask and carrying a gun; I will now focus on the peaceful march of enormous crowds that were erroneously brushed off as ineffective, the speaker revealed.

He stated the enemy used to fear the Palestinian Palestinian martyrs but it is now afraid of Palestinian eyewitnesses like Shireen Abu Aqla. He urged the Arab parliaments and governments to push for the establishment of a fund to support the Palestinian soft power; indicating the fund will grant financial support to all activities aimed at preserving the memory of Palestine and testimonies of Palestinians about their history, especially in Jerusalem, in addition to protecting the Palestinian identity and cultural facilities like libraries, theaters and archeological places. Also in a press statement after the emergency meeting, Al-Ghanim praised the closing statement at the meeting as it affirmed the restoration of Arab solidarity; especially since goals can be achieved only through unity. He considers the emergency meeting fruitful in view of the good proposals presented therein; citing the proposal of Kuwait to establish a fund for supporting Palestinian soft power, and that of the Consultative Council of Qatar to document the Arab existence and Palestinian history in the occupied areas.

He believes the emergency meeting served as an avenue to boost the morale of Palestinians, confirming such moves will continue until the Palestinians obtain their rights. National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim said he was pleased with results of 33rd conference of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union affirming that the results would boost morale “of our brothers in occupied Palestine.” Speaking upon conclusion of the convention, Al-Ghanim affirmed that the Kuwaiti delegation proposed setting up a special fund for supporting “the soft forces” in Palestine, alluding to non-combatants such as writers, novelists and journalists. Al-Ghanim pointed out that supporting these figures and non-combatant activists would help in maintaining the Palestinians’ memory and history, a matter of paramount significance for backing the Palestinians’ steadfastness in the occupied territories. He pledged that there would be no let-up in the political efforts to enable the Palestinians retain their rights. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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