In London, Said Hammami, the PLO's representative there, said in an interview today in the Observer that the Palestine National Council when it meets in Cairo March 12 cannot amend the charter because it represents ideology rather than a practical program.Over the past 35 years Israel has changed its position drastically towards concessions to the PLO - and the PLO has not changed its position one iota towards peace with Israel.
However, he said the PLO is ready to accept two states in Palestine "because since 1948 there has been a new factor, the Israeli people, not the Jewish people." But he said that Israel cannot survive in the long run as a Jewish State but will eventually become a Hebrew-speaking corner of the Arab world.
Hammami listed three points that comprise the PLO policy: a demand for complete withdrawal of Israel from occupied territory; that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip be handed over to the Palestinians to form an independent state under the PLO with the option later of deciding whether it wanted to join with Jordan and/or Syria; and the recognition of the right of all Palestinians to return to their homes, although this right might not be exercised "for a number of years."
It still considers Israel a temporary anomaly; it still rejects the idea of a Jewish state or of "two states for two peoples;" it still insists on the "right" to have millions of Arabs immigrate to Israel to destroy it demographically.
The only difference is that 35 years ago they were explicit about their ultimate goal of using the territories as a stage in the ultimate destruction of Israel, and after Oslo they pretend that they really want peace. Yet in Arabic they are still quite clear, and their people know it.
And in the 35 years of Israel giving up land, making unilateral concessions and accepting the concept of two states, it has not moderated the Arabs one tiny bit from their hard-line position of 1977 - which is in fact identical to the infamous 1974 Phased Plan for the destruction of Israel, piece by piece.