The much-anticipated Annapolis peace conference apparently has shrunk to a one-day affair, to be held next Tuesday at the Naval Academy.
To prepare for the international event, Annapolis flags will be replaced by American flags throughout the town starting tomorrow, according to a spokesman for the mayor.
"We are proud to host the conference on behalf of America, not just the city of Annapolis," said Karen Engelke, special projects coordinator for Mayor Ellen O. Moyer. "We want to have the welcome mat out."
Even though the State Department is keeping all information about the conference under wraps - even the dates - the Associated Press cites department sources in reporting that the conference will be held on Tuesday. It is being orchestrated by the United States to help Israel and the Palestinians inch their way toward a lasting peace. The Bush administration announced the conference in September.
The conference will be held in between meetings in Washington, the AP reported. The primary guests are the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the Bush administration also is inviting Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and key international players in the peace process. . .
According to permit applications, the rally by Shalom International is expected to attract "100 but this could easily get bigger given the politics."
Robert Kunst, president of Shalom International, said his group will rally outside the White House on Sunday, and outside Gate 1 at the Naval Academy on Monday and Tuesday, even if the conference isn't held on the expected date.
"It is a rally to stop Munich II - Munich I was when they gave the Sudetenland to (Adolph) Hitler in 1938, which started World War II" and the Holocaust, Mr. Kunst said.
A spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Ibrahim Hooper, told The Capital that responsibility for peace rests with Israel.
"Unless the Israelis are serious about promoting justice for the Palestinian people and about freedom from occupation, I don't see much coming out of the conference," Mr. Hooper said.
He said Israel's government uses demonstrations by a handful of anti-Palestinian radicals as an excuse to continue its abuse of Palestinians. (MORE)