Friday, November 13, 2020

  • Friday, November 13, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Obituaries about Saeb Erekat invariably emphasized how dedicated he was to peace, to a two state solution, and to finding a way to end the conflict.

Typical is this NPR article: 

But Erekat had his admirers, including Joel Singer, one of his Israeli negotiating counterparts during the Oslo process.

"I see him as a courageous Palestinian who devoted his life to reaching peace with Israel, peace on terms that would be acceptable to the Palestinian people," said Singer. "But yet unlike some other Palestinian groups that don't want to reach peace with Israel, he genuinely wanted to reach peace and never gave up."

Peace did not come in Erekat's lifetime – something he reflected on in his conversation with NPR in 2010.

"We have come a long way. We have come a long way," Erekat told NPR, referring to both Palestinians and Israelis. "We are different people. Unfortunately, we don't have peace."
Current and former Western leaders similarly described Erekat as dedicated to peace, This statement from Tony Blair is typical:
Saeb Erekat and I had many differences over the peace process and how to bring it to a successful conclusion. But I never doubted for one moment his sincerity, his knowledge or his deep and abiding commitment to the Palestinian people and to peace. He was a legendary negotiator, aware of every intricacy and detail of the ‘two state solution’ and a tireless advocate of it. He dedicated his life to the cause of an independent sovereign State of Palestine and it is tragic that he never lived to see it come into being. But when it does, he will remembered as one of its core architects. My thoughts and condolences are with his family. May he rest in peace.

Now look at the obituary from the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department, that Erekat headed:

 With heart-wrenching sadness and pain, today we bid farewell to Dr. Saeb Erekat. The fierce fighter, proud patriot, human being, compassionate father, friend, and an exceptional colleague. Especially in this challenging phase in our cause's history, we will miss a stubborn and dedicated fighter for Palestine.

Dr. Erekat devoted his life to defending and fighting for the achievement of our right to freedom, self-determination, national independence, and the return of Palestine's refugees. His memory will remain eternal enlightening his people's conscience until the fulfillment of what he fought with them to achieve: the end of Israel's brutal occupation and the realization of Palestine's independence with Jerusalem as its capital. 

We pray to Almighty God to bless Dr. Erekat with the breadth of his mercy and to dwell in his spaciousness. Our sincere condolences to Dr. Erekat's family and the people of Palestine. May God grants all of us patience and solace to bear this significant loss.

Not a word about "peace" or "dialogue" or "two state solution".

Similarly, see what PA president Abbas said about him:
 The President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, today, Tuesday, in his name and in the name of the Palestinian leadership and the government, mourned to the masses of our people and our Arab and Islamic nation, and friends in the world, the great national leader and the martyr of Palestine, the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the PLO, a member of the Central Committee of Fatah, and a prominent academic Saeb Erekat, who spent his life as a fighter and a hard negotiator defending Palestine, its cause, its people, and its independent national decision.

President Abbas said, "The departure of the brother and friend, the great fighter, Dr. Saeb Erekat, represents a great loss to Palestine and our people, and we feel deeply saddened by his loss, especially in light of these difficult circumstances facing the Palestinian cause."

The president added, "Palestine today misses this patriotic leader, and the great fighter who had a great role in raising the banner of Palestine high and defending the rights of our people and their national constants, in all international forums, and he had a prominent role when he was a member of the Palestinian delegation at the Madrid conference for peace in 1991, Minister of Local Government, and his tireless work as Chairman of the Negotiations Department of the PLO, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for two consecutive terms, culminating in his tenure as a secretariat and membership of the Executive Committee of the PLO."

And the president added: Our people will remember the great deceased Dr. Saeb Erekat, the righteous son of Palestine, who stood at the forefront defending the causes of his homeland and his people in the fields of work and the national struggle and in the international arena."
He mentions the Madrid peace conference but doesn't say anything about Erekat and peacemaking.

It seems that people project their own feelings and desires onto Erekat and by reading their descriptions of him, they are really describing themselves. 

The PLO leaders, by virtually ignoring the word "peace" when describing Erekat, show that they are the ones who never wanted real peace. To them, associating Erekat with peace would be an insult, not a compliment. 


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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