As the elections in Israel approach, the Palestinian Authority’s leaders and residents also have something to say about it - and, as usual, they’re pointing the fingers at Israel.
Channel 10 News visited the streets of Ramallah on Thursday, to find out from locals how they feel about the Israeli elections and about the fact that, according to all polls, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be elected for another term.
The PA Arabs expressed frustration over Netanyahu and went as far as to slam former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“Netanyahu is first and foremost a war criminal,” some residents of Ramallah charged, while Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub told Channel 10, “Netanyahu does not want peace, only to stay in the Prime Minister’s chair.”
Appealing directly to the citizens of Israel, Rajoub blamed Netanyahu for the stalemate in the peace process.
“Decide what you want. We can be neighbors, but Netanyahu won’t do it. He will lead you to disaster,” Rajoub said and proceeded to lash out at Lieberman. “He is a thug and a criminal. You deserve a different foreign minister. We know a lot about Lieberman. We have boxes [of information on him],” he claimed.
Rajoub’s remarks were echoed by the PLO’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who told Channel 10, “Even if Mother Teresa were our leader, Netanyahu would say there is no partner for peace. Netanyahu doesn’t say he wants peace and will not say this in the future.”
The PA leaders were ignoring the fact that their leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has since 2009 refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.
One of his longstanding demands is that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as final borders. He has also demanded that Israel release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. His Fatah party's newly adopted logo shows all of Israel as Palestine.
Even when Israel imposed a ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in an attempt to bring Abbas back to the negotiating table, he refused, choosing instead to impose more preconditions.
As for Rajoub, a video recently released by by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) exposed that he had called for armed resistance against Israel.
“What brother Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is doing is living proof of the independence of our decision making and our will,” Rajoub said in the video. “This is the sacred message borne by the greatest Palestinian since Jesus – Yasser Arafat. It runs in the genes of all the Palestinians. We are all Arafatists, and we are loyal to your blood, oh Abu Ammar, whose death we commemorate this month: We shall only return our swords to their sheaths when the [Palestinian] state is established, your hopes are realized, and the refugees return.”
Abbas himself has claimed he is against terrorism but his television stations have many times glorified some of the biggest terror masterminds.