Saeb Erekat wrote an article in Newsweek that is the usual mix of half-truths, lies and omissions.
Israeli government officials have announced further measures against nonviolent actions by civil society. During the First Intifada, the Israeli occupation authorities deported non-violent activists and tried to prevent any peaceful demonstration against the imposed and oppressive policies. Nowadays, Israel, with some international support, is trying to quash a growing solidarity movement with the Palestinian cause for freedom and independence.The PLO is clearly panicking over anti-BDS moves in Europe. And Erekat is happy to publicly support BDS, which supports the destruction of Israel.
Over the past year, the Israeli government and other organizations have conducted a campaign against any expression of disapproval of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, its crimes and its racist policies. Palestinian human rights organizations, such as Al Haq, have been victims of orchestrated efforts aimed at jeopardizing their funding, including vicious attacks and hateful incitement that has led to death threats against some of their employees.
Regrettably, this campaign against Palestinian civil society and partners has been somehow accepted and even encouraged by some members of the international community. We were astonished to see an official European Union presence at two anti-BDS conferences, with the EU representative to Tel Aviv not only praising Israel for its “human rights record,” but also by publicly stating that “settlement products are welcome in European markets.”
Erekat doesn't want readers to know that the point of BDS isn't peaceful protest against Israeli policies but a campaign to destroy Israel itself, as its leaders admit. No other nation faces such a challenge, which is the reason that the EU has been backtracking on its support for BDS. Europe's anti-BDS moves are based on existing EU anti-discrimination laws, something else Erekat doesn't want the readers to know.
Another thing that Erekat doesn't want Newsweek readers to know is that BDS is against any peaceful cooperation between Israel and Palestinians. The movement condemns any joint sports programs, peace seminars or any other contact between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs - in direct opposition to the EU, which pours money into such programs to help establish an atmosphere of peace in the region. BDS is fundamentally against a two-state solution that the EU supports.
BDS rules would prohibit any nation from competing against Israel in the Olympics, and it supports athletes from refusing to compete and refusing to shake hands with their Israeli opponents. That is something else Erekat desperately wants people not to know.
The biggest omission is the statement from Mahmoud Abbas himself in 2013:
“No, we do not support the boycott of Israel,” the Palestinian leader told a group of South African reporters on Monday. “But we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because the settlements are in our territories. It is illegal.That reluctance to publicly associate the PA with BDS continues to this day.
“And the Israelis should first of all stop building in our territories, should stop everything in our territories,” he stated, according to South African media outlet The Star.
“But we do not ask anyone to boycott Israel itself,” he reiterated. “We have relations with Israel, we have mutual recognition of Israel.”
Erekat most certainly doesn't want Newsweek readers to know that - because it undercuts his entire thesis that such boycotts help the cause of peace.
It is interesting that Erekat has chosen the very time that BDS is failing as the time to try to prop it up, against the PA's own policies. Either it is another example of spectacularly bad timing on the PLO's part, or an attempt by Erekat to bolster his own chances to succeed Abbas as the PA and PLO leader.
(h/t Dan P)
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