A Palestinian Authority minister has blasted the European Union for hosting Shomron leader Gershon Mesika, whom it called a “terrorist.”
Mesika two weeks spoke to the EU Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament in an unprecedented visit to the Brussels-based EU parliament. It was the first time a leader of Judea and Samaria spoke at an official parliamentary meeting, and it clearly infuriated the Palestinian Authority, which is heavily dependent on EU financing.
An official letter to European Union members from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the PA stated that "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority condemns the invitation of Gershon Mesika, Chairman of the Shomron Settlement Board in occupied Palestinian territory, as a guest of honor to address the EU Parliament.
"To give a floor to this terrorist at the EU Parliament is an unprecedented deed and comes in stark contradiction to the traditional position of the European Union and its institutions towards the Palestinian people, especially those related to settlement construction.
"The European Union, along with all its institutions, has stressed on many occasions and through many official statements its support for international legitimacy and the rights of the Palestinian people; foremost among them, its right to establish its independent state based on the 1967 borders."
Mesika, of the Shomron Liaison Office, is a widely-known advocate for a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria by hosting journalists and foreign organizations and arranging for speeches to groups and political bodies outside the “captive audience” of nationalist groups.
Clearly worried about his success, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added in its letter that it “hopes that this unprecedented invitation will not represent a new approach in dealing with the Palestine Question."
Mesika responded to the letter by stating, "If the Palestinian Authority is under pressure, it's a sign that we're on the right path. We'll continue to build up the Land of Israel, and together with the construction we'll go on with our public relations blitz both in Israel and outside of it."
Yossi Dagan, Director of the Strategy Unity and Mesika's advisor, added, "The amazing thing is that when we explain the simple truth, that we are settling Judea and Samaria because this is our land, given to the Jewish people by Biblical fiat, people simply understand and are convinced. Apparently, saying that the land is simply ours works better than all the other feeble excuses. Most people say that they have never heard this explanation before..."
David Ha'ivri, who heads the Shomron Liaison Office, said, "The hysterical reactions of the Palestinian Authority are only directing us to accomplish more. The PA is scared that the world will discover that settlement in Judea and Samaria is not the problem, but the solution. In coming months, we'll continue to plow deeply into Europe and the rest of the world and strengthen international support for the State of Israel and for settlement in Judea and Samaria."