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500 Kibbutz Peaceniks Say They’ll Talk to PLO

December 22, 1989
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Some 500 peace activists from kibbutzim announced that they would go to Cairo for talks with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

That would be a clear violation of the law, which forbids Israelis from any contact with the PLO. But the activists say they intend to conduct their mission “within the limitations of the law.”

Their plans triggered a heated debate in the Knesset on Wednesday, the focus of which turned out to be the law itself.

Ran Cohen of the Citizens Rights Movement said it was a “stupid law,” because it was pitted against morals, against conscience and against “the natural drive for peace.”

“Whoever creates that tragic dilemma between the desire for peace and the rule of law leads thousands to violate the law,” Cohen said, adding it would “be better to abolish this unfortunate law.”

But Hanan Porat of the National Religious Party urged that the law be upheld.

“A law is a law, for better or worse,” Porat said. “If in your view it is bad, then take it to the streets, convince the masses, wear out the public personalities, do whatever you wish to change it, but do not knowingly violate the law.”

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