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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Erekat apologizes for seeming to apologize to Jews

Predictably, Saeb Erekat is in hot water with Palestinian Arabs over making his deceptive video for the Geneva Initiative where he pretends to be more peaceful than he is while addressing the Israeli people.

As we've seen before, Erekat (along with other PA officials) is a master at saying the exact opposite things in English and Arabic.

In the video, he starts off by saying, "“Shalom to you in Israel, I know we have disappointed you, I know we have been unable to deliver peace for the last 19 years."

Palestinian Arabs thought that this sounded way too close to being an apology, and they criticized him heavily.

So how does Erekat justify his words? He says that, even though this message was broadcast to the Israeli people and he used the word "we," he was only talking on behalf of both Israeli and Palestinian Arab negotiators, not on behalf of anyone else:

Unfortunately, my words are being interpreted as being said on behalf of the Palestinians to the Israeli people, which completely contradicts what I meant and what I believe. This interpretation is flawed and inconsistent with the operative part of my speech. I was talking to a negotiator and meant that we as negotiators, the Palestinians and Israelis alike, have disappointed [our people] as we have not been able to reach an agreement to end the conflict, despite the long years of negotiations.

I never thought for one moment to apologize to the Israelis on behalf of the Palestinian people, a people who suffer daily from the various policies of occupation and displacement and humiliation and [who themselves are] deserving of an apology.
I'm sure that the Geneva Initiative will issue a clarifying press release.