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Declaration of Independence barely remembered in Palestine

The 28th anniversary of the Palestinian Declaration of Independence came and went without fanfare.
People watch the raising of a Palestinian flag during a rally marking the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, in the West Bank city of Tulkarm November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini - RTX2TLI1

The date Nov. 15, 1988, is a special one for Palestinians. On that day, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the Palestinians' parliament in exile, convened in the Algerian capital of Algiers and adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. It was almost one year into the relatively nonviolent intifada that shook up Israel and the world.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi told Al-Monitor how the declaration had been largely drafted by distinguished professor Edward Said and Palestinian poet laureate Mahmoud Darwish, both now deceased. “Said, who along with [prominent academic] Ibrahim Abu-Lughod was in contact with the Americans, contributed to it,” said Ashrawi. “He wanted the declaration to contain a number of principles that appear in the US Constitution, but it was Darwish who drafted the final text that was read in Arabic.”

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