When PA's "peace" negotiator says Hamas savages are not terrorists, what does this say about "peace"?
|Erekat, Kerry [Image Source]|
A Middle East Monitor report published on Sunday quotes Saeb Erekat, a perennial insider in the Palestinian ruling elite, speaking this past Friday at a two-day conference in Ramallah of The Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies. Here's what the great man, speaking in Arabic, pronounced:
"Hamas is a Palestinian movement, is not and will never be a terrorist organisation".From a different source but referring to the same event, Israel National News says that he
called on Hamas to implement all previous agreements with Fatah in order to "fight together against Israel... The political movements have an obligation to resolve their differences at the ballot box, and not through bullets... I hereby declare, in the name of President Mahmoud Abbas and the directorate of Fatah, that Hamas is a Palestinian movement, and is not and never was a terror group..."Before taking this apart, let's tune in to a recent, stunningly sharp analysis of Erekat from the Turkish think-tank SETA:
Having resigned eight times in the last 20 years over peace talk impasses, Dr. Erekat has a long history of saying one thing and doing the other. In the 45 minute conversation [for Al Jazeera's "Head to Head" program] the disquieting chief negotiator demonstrated a worrying case of incoherence and disharmony of thoughts... Dr. Erekat's incoherence mirrors the lack of harmony between what the PA says it is doing and what the PA is actually doing. This cognitive dissonance is perhaps the greatest burden on the Palestinian people today..." ["The Cognitive Dissonance of Saeb Erekat", March 15, 2014]
|Erekat and ever-attentive reporters,|
June 2013 [Image Source]
But none of that is the actual problem; the issue is not with Erekat. As the Turks said, he is a man of "incoherence", and they were being polite and restrained. The problem - the far greater problem - is with all those editors, analysts, politicians and civil servants who deal with this disgraceful man as if he were the genuine article, as a man seeking peace.
|He resigns again. The 2011 edition of|
an Erekat performance with so many encores.
And media professionals don't know this?
To give just a couple of fact-related instances from a long list...
Speaking live to CNN in 2002, Erekat said Israeli forces were attacking Arafat’s compound in Ramallah. He described shooting, shelling, an injured Palestinian policeman that the Israelis were preventing from being evacuated by ambulance. CNN then crossed live to its correspondent at the Arafat compound while the interview was still underway to report on what was going on there, which was absolutely nothing. [Source: Honest Reporting].
Erekat, cynically exploiting his media credibility, notoriously promoted the fiction during Operation Defensive Shield (Israel's response to a crescendo of Palestinian Arab human bomb attacks on civilian Israelis) that Israeli forces had savagely killed "523" people in Jenin. "I have 1,600 names, missing people from the refugee camp. I have mothers calling me speaking about missing their daughters, their sons. I have husbands missing their wives. I have parents missing their grandparents." Putting it beyond doubt, he told the news media (according to a CNN transcript): "A real massacre was committed in the Jenin refugee camp".
The impact of his histrionics is reflected in key news reports such as the one from The Guardian that asserted "Israel's international reputation slumped to its lowest point for two decades yesterday..." Erekat was at the heart of that blood libel. As a CAMERA report pointed out at the time, no one in the mainstream media seriously challenged the man's facts or motivations. The subsequent findings, that several dozen Palestinian Arabs were killed in the Jenin battle, the majority of them combatants, came too late to reverse the damage caused by this assault of pure, unadulterated propaganda, as CAMERA's report termed it.