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March 26, 2015

PLO Fabricator Gets Washington Post Soapbox

In George Orwell’s enduringly instructive dystopian novel, 1984, the Ministry of Truth—“war is peace,�? “freedom is slavery,�? “ignorance is strength�?—functioned as the department of lies. The fictional ministry has an actual branch in the U.S. capital. It goes by the name of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Washington, D.C. delegation.

Attempting to refute the irrefutable, delegation head Maen Rashid Areikat took to The Washington Post letters to the editor section (“Palestinians seek peace and justice,�? March 26, 2015) to falsify facts in columnist Charles Krauthammer’s indictment of Palestinian rejectionism (“No peace in our time,�? March 20).

Krauthammer noted that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat rejected U.S.-Israeli offers of a West Bank and Gaza Strip state in exchange for peace in 2000 and 2001 and Mahmoud Abbas did so in 2008. Areikat claimed “there were no written offers,�? as if spoken proposals would not have been worth pursuing.

In fact, what came to be known as “the Clinton parameters�? regarding the deals Arafat spurned at Camp David in 2000 and Taba in 2001 are well known. Likewise, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert conveyed the outlines of a “two-state solution,�? a map included, to Abbas in 2008—to which the latter replied, in effect, “I’ll get back to you�? but as Olmert wrote in a Post Op-Ed six years ago never did (“Stop Focusing on the Settlements to Achieve Peace in the Middle East,�? July 17, 2009).

Areikat asserted that the Palestinian side “explicitly accepted�? a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem on just “22 percent of historical Palestine�? but Israel refused. The land originally intended for the post-World War I League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate also included what is now Jordan and the Golan Heights, or more than 77 percent. Israel compromises roughly 17 percent of that territory, the West Bank and Gaza the remaining, unallocated nearly six percent. Palestinian leadership explicitly refused to agree to Israeli proposals of a West Bank and Gaza state, with its capital in eastern Jerusalem, if agreement required it to end the conflict with Israel, recognize it as a Jewish state and drop the so-called “right of return�? for Palestinian Arab refugees and much-multiplied descendants.

Areikat claims that Palestinian leadership acts “responsibly�? to assure rule of law in the areas it controls. That would be a surprise to democrats and other endangered species in the Gaza Strip, ruled by the terrorist Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement). It also would sound somewhat inaccurate to West Bank Arabs controlled by Abbas and Areikat’s PA, which beats and jails critics.

The PLO’s chief Washington representative objects to Krauthammer’s observation that his boss, Abbas, is in the 11th year of a four-year term. According to Areikat, Abbas “called for elections three weeks before�? Krauthammer’s column appeared. That confirms Abbas has lacked a mandate for seven years. Calling for elections is easy, holding them—especially when one suspects, as Abbas might well, that he would lose to a challenger from Hamas or within his own Fatah movement—dangerous.

Areikat invokes Israel’s “occupation�? and “war-mongering�? by Israel and its supporters—Krauthammer presumably among them—to explain the absence of Israeli-Palestinian peace. This when A) Israel’s been out of the Gaza Strip since 2005, B) Hamas has used the Strip repeatedly as a base for terrorist bombardments of the Jewish state, C) the PA, in administering area “A�? and co-administering area “B�? of the West Bank with Israel has jurisdiction over more than 90 percent of the Arab population and D) what remains of Israel’s post-1967 Six-Day War occupation of the disputed territories is not a violation of international law but in fact obligatory under it until peace is negotiated according to U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

Areikat, of course, can act as his own Ministry of Propaganda to gull the gullible in promotion of “the Palestinian narrative.�? That’s more or less his job description as head of the PLO’s Washington delegation, as CAMERA has shown previously (for example, “Wall Street Journal Lets Palestinian Spokesman Deep-Six the Facts,�? June 13, 2012). The real question is why did The Post, which has been known to fact-check letters critical of Palestinian words and deeds, feel compelled to accommodate him?

Posted by ER at March 26, 2015 04:21 PM


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