Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed Israeli embassies in Europe and the U.S. to file strong protests with the governments of their host countries against comments by the Palestinian Authority representative delegation's United Nations observer, who said that the Arab state the PA plans to declare in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem will be “free of Jews.”
In response to a reporter's question Tuesday, the PA official, Maen Areikat, said that “after a military occupation of 44 years, I think it would be best for the two nations to split.” He added that Jews would not be welcome to live in the PA state. The implication, said Lieberman, was that more than 350,000 Jews who live in areas the PA claims for its state would have to leave their homes.
The Palestine Liberation Organization, however -- tasked with making the formal request to the United Nations for recognition of the PA as a new Arab country, and accepting the entity into its ranks as a full member -- has announced that the new state would "welcome all faiths."
Lieberman said Thursday that Areikat's comments were similar to other statements made directly by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has spoken of the need to deport all Jews from PA controlled areas. Both Areikat's and Abbas' statements, said Lieberman, prove that the PA plans to make its state “Judenrein,” borrowing a term describing the Nazis' policy of destroying Jews and murdering them. “The nations of the world should take these comments into account when deciding how to vote on the PA's demand to set up a state,” Lieberman said.
In June, Abbas himself made a similar statement. Telling reporters that he would under no conditions recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said that he would agree to an international force to ensure enforcement of a peace agreement between Israel and the PA state to prevent terrorism. But, he said, “I will not agree to allowing Jews to participate in this force, and I will not agree to allow even one Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.”
Earlier, Yuli Edelstein, in charge of the government's public information efforts, said that “after endless attempts by the PA to delegitimize Israel and attempts to brand us as an apartheid state, it turns out that the Palestinians are the ones who are interested in apartheid.”