'The PLO spoiled the World Social Forum in Tunis' according to the militants of the Palestinian cause
At the stand of the Palestinians on the World Social Forum in Tunis I was able to talk to one of the directors of the ministry of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, Dr Wael Albettekhi. He claimed that the WSF was a place for social organizations to meet and that the PLO is the Umbrella movement of a lot of political en social movements. I got the official statements that they are against the suffering of the Palestinian People, the closure of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, the Judaization of Jerusalem and for the right to return and freedom for Palestinian citizens in Israeli jails. He told me that there were no problems at the Forum and that the majority of the organization recognized their claim for a Palestinian state.
Other NGO's and Social movements were not so happy with there presence, because they monopolized the debate. There was a Palestinian stand that was fully monopolized and controlled by the PLO. A lot of Palestinian organizations were not so happy with this. During the debates they didn't let a considerable amount of people speak freely. There was a big critic that governments like the PLO proclaims itself should have a space on the WSF. It became a sensitive issue because the original values that the WSF should be an open-space for dialogue and encounters was not fulfilled. It was like the PLO had a private stand were the meeting place for Palestinians had to be. A lot of organizations didn't see this coming, some didn't participate because of this. This was one of the biggest mistakes of the WSF according to the militants for the Palestinian cause.