The Palestinian Authority is beginning to prove Abraham Lincoln’s adage, “You can’t fool all of the people all the time.”
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Huntley didn’t buy inherent contradictions made during an interview with a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official.
Maen Rashid Areikat, the representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the United States, recently met with the Sun-Times editorial board, and Huntley came away with serious doubts about PA policies and viewpoints.
Among other “suspect statements” by Areikat, Huntley wrote. “He said the source of Israeli distrust of the Palestinians was not decades of Palestinian terrorism but the history of Western anti-Semitism. He said the ‘golden age’ of Jews in the Holy Land was the medieval time of Islamic rule under Saladin.”
Huntley added his own remark that “I think Jews might cite the time of King David or another Biblical era in their history" as the golden age.
Areikat told the editorial board that Jews would not be allowed to live in a Palestinian Authority country, if it is ever established. Huntley noted that that Arabs comprise 20 percent of Israel’s population, not including Judea and Samaria. The journalist also pointed out that an Arab was on the three-judge Supreme Court panel that recently rejected an appeal of former President Moshe Katzav, convicted of rape charges.
“As the Katzav story indicates, they [Arabs] are able to play prominent roles in the country’s governmental life, including service in the Knesset,” Huntley wrote.
“Areikat did acknowledge that a settlement would involve ‘minor’ land swaps that could incorporate some of the communities in Israel,” the report stated. “And he did say that at some point in the future, Jews might live in a new Palestinian state. But a settlement would require Jews living in the Palestinian-governed West Bank to leave. In other words, a peace deal will be followed by ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, where Jewish history is measured in millennia and where Jews had lived before being expelled in the Arab world’s 1948 war to destroy Israel.”
Areikat “insisted the Palestinian Authority, as opposed to Hamas, the terrorists ruling the Gaza Strip, had accepted Israel,” Huntley continued. “I referred to him a recent article in the Palestinian Authority newspaper by the authority’s ambassador to India. Adli Sadeq wrote that Israelis 'have a common mistake, or misconception by which they fool themselves, assuming that Fatah [the PLO’s main political party] accepts them and recognizes the right of their state to exist, and that it is Hamas alone that loathes them and does not recognize the right of this state to exist.’
“The translation came from the Palestinian Media Watch. Areikat made vague comments about the ambassador’s writing, dismissed PMW founder Itamar Marcus as a biased settler, and offered to provide extreme statements from Israelis. Suggesting a mistranslation, he said he would get back to me about the article. It’s been several weeks, I haven’t heard from him.”
Itamar Marcus lives in Efrat in Gush Etzion, an area overrun by Jordan in 1948. After the women and children had been evacuated, the men, who remained behind to defend their homes but were overwhelmed, were massacred by the Jordanian Legion after they raised a white flag of surrender.