Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to respond to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s terms for the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel, the Palestinian grassroots continues to oppose any form of normalization with Israelis.

Murad Soudani, chairman of the Palestinian Writers’ Union, called on the journalists’ syndicate to “shame and remove” Palestinian journalists who met with their Israeli counterparts in Oslo, Norway, on World Free Press Day, May 3.

“There is no room for flattery or debate surrounding normalization,” Soudani told Maan News Agency. “Intellectuals and journalists are no substitute for politicians.”

Soudani added that such meetings “insert defeat into our Palestinian culture.”

World Press Freedom Day was established by the United Nations in 1993. UNESCO says the purpose of the day is to “evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.”