Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Wasn't Invited

JN sent me this:-

Reunion of participants in Madrid peace conference to take place this week

A reunion of participants from all sides who participated in the Madrid peace conference in 1991 is to be held in Madrid this week. The Madrid conference was a crucial moment in the launching of the peace process in the Middle East. It represented the first occasion in which Israeli representatives took part in direct talks with representatives from all its immediate Arab neighbours. The Palestinians at that time were represented as part of the Jordanian delegation.

The three-day reunion gathering is titled 'Madrid +15: Madrid 15 Years Later,' and is intended to help foster an international climate conducive to the revival of the currently stalled Middle East peace process. It is a civil initiative, being organised by the Toledo International Peace Centre, Search for Common Ground and the Fundacion Tres Culturas del Mediterraneo. The conference will be attended by an 11-person Israeli delegation, including former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami and former military intelligence chief Uri Saguy. An eight-person Palestinian delegation, headed by Fatah senior leader Mohammed Dahlan, will also be in attendance, along with delegations from European countries, the US, Russia, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

Why was it sent?

Because JN, and BPO and some 15 others flew out to be there as what I call the "Unofficial Yesha Delegation".

You see, we didn't trust Shamir - and even Bibi - and we knew that this was a crucial event so we managed to get some donations and flew out. In addition, Yoram Hazoni was there, upstairs in Bibi's room producing independet Hasbara material; Yisrael Harel and Uri Elitzur and Shifra Blass and Shlomo Wach; Marc Zell and Yehiel Leiter; eventually Meir Indor showed up with bereaved parents. We had Yisrael from Maaleh Adumin and a girl from Barcelona who lives in Maaleh Adumin which helped out with the local lingo.

For almost a whole week we ate basically bananas and apples I bought in the street with my New York-Puerto Rican Spanish (although twice I went to the Community Center to eat an expensive Kosher meal and there wa salso a reception) and drank coffee. On Thursday night (I and JN and BPO arrived on the Sunday), we broke upon coldcuts Shifra brought.

Then eight of us stayed for the Shabbat (Uri hopped a ride back on Shamir's plane late on the Friday and some of the others went on the NY) and ended up at the home of people, the Smiths, who knew my sister in New Rochelle (small world; I've met them several more times on visits to my sister).

You don't believe me?

Here's a picture I once posted.

I guess we aren't invited this time.

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