``Things here on the ground look very different than when you're sitting far away on campuses making parallels to other situations,'' said Tzipora Rimon, North America specialist at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
``We are coping with terrorist activities, attacks, even suicide bombers. First we have to deal with this situation of the security of the citizens who are facing this terrorist attack, and then we would like very much to go back to the negotiating table,'' Rimon said.
The petitions on U.S. campuses call for divestment to pressure Israel to withdraw from territory captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war; return to peace talks; stop building settlements; and treat the Palestinians better. Divestment lists circulated on the Internet include names such as AT&T and McDonald's, Hewlett Packard and General Electric.
Khader Shkirat, a Palestinian lawyer, said South Africans will join him and other Palestinians to discuss the divestment campaign and other nonviolent tactics drawn from the South African experience on the sidelines of the Earth Summit beginning in a week.
In a pro-divestment column published in U.S. newspapers in June, South African Nobel laureate and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu drew parallels between Palestinians under occupation and blacks who lived in segregated districts during apartheid.
In the United States, a national pro-divestment students' conference is scheduled at the University of Michigan this fall. Boyle, who has given legal advice to South Africans and Palestinians, has signed a contract for a handbook laying out legal arguments for divestment.
Boyle said he raised the divestment strategy in a speech to students in Illinois two years ago, at the start of the latest wave of Palestinian-Israeli violence. He said he expected the campaign to be difficult because Israel has firm friends in the United States.
Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi said she was encouraged. ``It will begin to get people to question their assumptions,'' Ashrawi said, noting American Jews were among the ``people of courage and wisdom'' who have signed divestment petitions.
One is Karen Brodkin, a UCLA anthropologist. She said in a telephone interview she did not condone Palestinian violence, but believed ``the more powerful of the two sides has a responsibility to do something.''
Ilan Pappe, a Jewish Israeli political scientist, sees clear parallels between his country and apartheid South Africa.
``The only thing that can end the Israeli occupation is outside pressure,'' Pappe said.
08/19/02 02:20 EDT Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.
All of the US intellect including some Jewish American intellect got it wrong and only you �dizzy perma� got it right??!!!!
Wake up from your state of despair and end the occupation, stop the genocide, stop the ITF & settlers terror define your borders, stop land theft, stop home demolition, make peace and help rebuild what you destroyed�it is not to late to wake up from this nightmare�.
IF YOU CHOOSE OTHERWISE, UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN KILL THE PALESTINIANS, STEAL THEIR LAND, DEMOLISH THEIR HOMES, BUT YOU CAN NOT TAKE AWAY THEIR FREEDOM.