Peace Talk Secrets! - Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
9 August, 2012
Dr Saeb Erekat is the official Chief Peace Negotiator of the Palestinian Authority. Direct and even indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians through US mediation are suspended for many months now and Erekat has been the leading opponent of renewing the peace talks. He however speaks always about the Palestinian desire for just peace and blames only Israel for the absence of negotiations. The word PEACE opens our hearts and minds - but we had to learn that it is used sometimes merely for demagogic purposes. The two bloodiest dictatorships in modern history, Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Union were the unrivalled champions of "peace" demagogy; of preaching peace daily as a cover-up for their evil deeds and intensions. Is Erekat sincere? Does his history suggest he is telling truth?
It is vital to understand who your partner in talks about peace really is and what his true goals are. Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians can be again, as they have been, a mere cover up and even a justification for the worst Palestinian terror waves in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Both the Oslo peace accord in 1991 and the Camp David peace negotiations in 2000 were followed by unprecedented Palestinian terror waves ("intifadas") that had been in preparation long before those peace talks began.
Who, then, is the real Chief Palestinian Peace negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat? Dr. Erekat is an impressive Palestinian politician who speaks clear, concise and eloquent English. He was born in 1955 to a well-known Muslim family in Jerusalem. His six brothers and sisters have been living outside of Israel and the Palestinian Authority for decades now. Erekat also was educated in the West. He studied in the US, made his PhD in England and entered Palestinian politics later in a senior capacity during the Oslo peace negotiations.
Hiow does he look like? There are minor controversies between his different appearances: for two decades since he returned from the US to join Palestinian leadership, he appeared in public and was shown exclusively with an Arafat-style one-week old beard. In 2010 this has changed, and a clean shaved new, gentlemanlike, still handsome Saeb Erekat emerged, fit to please the West.
The content of his words are much more controversial. Wikipedia says briefly that "Erekat characterized the IDF's 2002 assault in the Palestinian town of Jenin as a ‘massacre' and a ‘war crime', charges that the IDF has denied." The usually soft-spoken senior journalist, Bret Stephens, Editor in Chief of Jerusalem Post at the time (with The Wall Street Journal today) wrote this about Saeb Erekat: "'Every word [s]he says is a lie, including 'and,' 'but' and 'if'' - what Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman, so one could say about Saeb Erekat." Why such an outrage? We'll demonstrate here that Saeb Erekat's massacre accusation was not less than a deliberate, many times repeated lie.
In April 2002 Saeb Erekat gave a dramatic personal report to the BBC World Service, broadcasted in 40 languages, about 3000 Palestinian civilians "massacred by Israel". Three days later, his figure shrinked first to a "massacre" of 500 civilians. Even after a UN fact-finding committee's report was published in August, and found, verifying exactly the original Israeli army statement, "52 Palestinian victims in Jenin, out of which the larger part was young males holding weapons" - Erekat never recanted his false accusations, never admitted they had been wrong.
And this is exactly how we can distinguish a deliberate lie from a mistake: a deliberate lie is a false accusation, never corrected after the opposite facts became known. That is why Bret Stephens wrote his article "Liar, liar" about Saeb Erekat.
In the years following Saeb Erekat's Jenin libel, Take-A-Pen found him deliberately lying for propaganda purposes again and again. One of these further cases was:
The Old Story: Bret Stephens: "Liar,liar!"
The New Story: Israel: Palestinians back terror with lies
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Worth to have a look at these ones.
In recent months, following President Obama's calls, everyone is talking about peace again, Saeb Erekat included. The crucial question is, who is sincere about peace and who is not?
At least one thing is missing to take Erekat as Palestinian Chief Peace Negotiator seriously, as an acceptable partner to Peace Talks. Saeb Erekat has to admit first and then to condemn his past libels and bloodthirsty incitements against Israel and the Jews living there.
Until then not one word of Saeb Erekat can be trusted. When it is honestly done, a new and hopefully successful chapter of negotiations can start, leading to new, and this time sincere and lasting peace accords.
*by Endre (Andre) Mozes, TakeAPen4israel, http://www.takeapen.org/
- Read also a Letter published in the Washington Post on Nov. 1, 2010 - Re: Saeb Erekat's Op-ed piece