LETTER:Palestinian rights

From Mr Rob Kent

Sir: Robert Kirk's attack on the Palestine National Charter (Letters, 2 January) demonstrates that the recent transformation of the Middle East has not changed the arguments of those who oppose Palestinian rights. Mr Kirk claims that the PLO's charter is "genocidal", ignoring the fact that the charter has long been superseded in Palestinian politics by an acceptance of a "two-state" solution.

He points to the failure of the Palestine National Council to amend the charter formally. However, he fails to put this in the context of the on-going suspension of PLO democracy. Yasser Arafat has made so many concessions to the Israeli government that he has not felt strong enough to convene the Palestinians' "parliament-in-exile" for fear of debate and defeat.

The idea that Yasser Arafat has genocidal designs on Jews when he is busy running his pathetic statelet on a fraction of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is ridiculous. Moreover, it is a distraction from the real issues of the continuing Israeli colonisation and the degeneration of Palestinian democracy.

Yours faithfully,

Rob Kent