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Leftwing Israelis Going to Bucharest to Meet with Prominent Palestinians Including Possibly with Ara

The Rumanian government will provide a special plane to ferry several score Israeli leftwing activists to a meeting scheduled in Bucharest next week with prominent Palestinians. This was disclosed by the group’s leaders at a press conference Thursday in Tel Aviv.

The group, led by Yael Lotan, a writer and journalist, reiterated its intention to proceed with the planned public conference in Bucharest despite a warning by Attorney-General Yosef Harish that they may be violating the recently passed law banning meetings with representatives of terrorist organizations.

The group includes members of Mapam, the Progressive List for Peace, Hadash, East for Peace, and other small bodies advocating dialogue with the Palestinians. No Knesset members are slated to attend the conference.

The group believes that leading PLO officials will be present at the dialogue including, possibly, Yasir Arafat, the PLO chairman. The conference is to be held under the personal auspices of Rumanian President Nicolae Ceausescu.

Some members of the group have indicated that they see the conference as something of a test-case and are prepared to face trial under what they consider to be an undemocratic law. The law was passed earlier this year, in tandem with a law against racism. The two bills went through together to ensure a broad coalition majority for both of them.