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‘Netanyahu destroyed hope’ — Erekat

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BBC’s Stephen Sackur, host of HardTalk, interviewed Saeb Erekat, PLO Secretary General and veteran chief negotiator on November 4. The 24 minute-long interview gives a rare glimpse into the gravity of the situation in Israel and Palestine.

Erekat begins with noting the role of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in fueling Palestinian desperation and violence:
Once you take the hope outside the mind of people, what do you expect?
Erekat’s emphasis on hope reveals not only an already known public sentiment in Palestine, but it also gauges what the Palestinian leadership is thinking, and how it is likely to act. When Sackur asked Erekat about how Palestinians call those who allegedly committed crimes against Israelis his frank answer captures an alarming sense of failure:
I really could care less about what you want to call them or not call them, Stephen…The question is why such people do such things? Who took the hope from their minds? Who’s telling them in Israel that you have no hope and no future whatsoever?…We have tried for 20 years to achieve peace, and restore hope in the minds of Palestinians and Israelis, and then came this Israeli government, Stephen, and destroyed the possibility of the two-state solution, destroyed hope in the minds of Palestinians…What if your sons were under Israeli occupation, what if they were deprived of their right to live, to have jobs, to have dignity, to have a future like you and your sons. What would you do, what would they do? This is the question is that this occupation is the source of evil, the source of desperation.

The interview, which continues with impassioned pleas by Erekat, reaches a peak when Sackur asks whether Hamas is moving the current clashes and benefiting from them:
I challenge any Palestinian, any political party, to say that we’re organizing what’s happening outside…I’ve never seen such developments before. All I’m telling you that Palestinians are giving up on me, on people like me, on people who promised them 20 years ago, who told them we stop violence, we don’t use any act of violence, we recognize the State of Israel, we gonna get independence through negotiations, and they believed us, they gave us all the time in the world, for 23 years. What they’re telling me now, ‘we had 200,000 settlers in the year 1993, today Dr. Erekat, we have 600,000 settlers, that’s the result of your peace process, that’s the result of your negotiations.’ The only way to begin a deescalation and deconfliction program is by restoring hope in the minds of the Palestinians.
Sackur then asks whether Oslo is dead:
It aches my heart to say yes…What have I delivered 22 years later? Yes, [Netanyahu] won over us, he defeated us.
Erekat then pointedly looks at the camera:
Mr. Netanyahu, I hope that you are listening to me. Look in my eyes, walk me through the day after. You managed to destroy the two-state solution, you managed to destroy hope. Does this bring you security or peace? What have you done? Where have you taken us? And to those in Europe and the United States, stop treating Netanyahu as a Prime Minister above the laws of man.
These remarks point at one possible scenario ahead, absent a serious global effort to ensure the rights of Palestine, as Erekat notes:
I think we have a new leadership called the Israeli occupation. Mr. Netanyahu restarted, and reestablished his occupying forces…It’s time to invite Mr. Netanyahu to take over, because he’s destroying the Palestinian Authority…He destroyed everything.
Reinforcing the bleak reality ahead, the interview moves to deal a serious blow to the widely covered Palestinian efforts to internationalize the conflict as Erekat admits:
I cannot get a Security Council resolution reiterating your right to statehood or to freedom, I cannot get you an investigation committee from the international Human Right Council to investigate what takes place on the ground. I cannot get you any hope whatsoever.
Dorgham Abusalim

Dorgham Abusalim recently graduated with a Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland. You can follow him on Twitter @dabusalim.

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58 Responses

  1. JWalters on November 7, 2015, 6:51 pm

    Palestine is not Israel’s only open-air prison.

    Every American airport should be the site of protests against Israel. The huge hassle of security checks for EVERY passenger is ALL to protect Israel’s right to slaughter and rob masses of innocent people. It is also protecting Israel’s control of America’s media and politicians, enabling Israel to drag America into its cruel wars for profit.

    • johneill on November 8, 2015, 11:09 am

      how exactly?

      • JWalters on November 8, 2015, 7:16 pm

        The Israelis have three sets of security checkpoints. One set is in Israel, the second is in the West Bank, and the third is in the U.S. and European countries. All these security checkpoints are to defend against retaliation by the people on whom Israel is making war.

        These include the Palestinians of course, whose land the supremacist Jews of Eastern Europe invaded, financed by war profiteering bankers, and who they have relentlessly continued to kill and dispossess, regardless of the endless stream of concessions made by the Palestinian negotiators.

        They also include the Iraqis, since the invasion of Iraq was a manufactured war, pushed heavily by the Neocons, who are essentially American Israelis, and done to a great extent to serve Israel’s interests. And they include other Muslims who see Israel and its American puppet as waging a religious war against Muslims on behalf of Jewish invaders.

        And behind these religious conflicts are war profiteers fanning the flames of ethnic conflict, not giving a damn about any of these religious or racist fanatics, just going for the money. This is the Military-Industrial Complex Eisenhower warned about. Israel is its current engine for generating and maintaining conflict.

  2. Boomer on November 7, 2015, 8:29 pm

    re “I cannot get a Security Council resolution reiterating your right to statehood or to freedom, I cannot get you an investigation committee from the international Human Right Council to investigate what takes place on the ground. I cannot get you any hope whatsoever.”

    He cannot, because the United States of America has blocked him.

  3. Blownaway on November 7, 2015, 9:03 pm

    He can’t because he and Abbas and their cronies are corrupted by the occupation and the millions they make selling out their people. How does Abbas son get tens of millions for his projects? How are all these guys do rich when they are surrounded by poverty and despair? If you can’t be successful then resign

    • Sibiriak on November 7, 2015, 9:58 pm

      Blownaway: He can’t because he and Abbas and their cronies are corrupted ….

      And if they weren’t corrupted, what could they have done to get pro-Palestinian Security Council resolutions past the U.S. veto, etc.? What?

      • pabelmont on November 8, 2015, 10:11 am

        Might as well be corrupt. Someone should get something out of this horror, I ‘spose. But Isfael et al. (USA in particular) prevents any progress whatever.

        Look at pro-corporate money controlling USA. (see: Chris Hedges on the TPP abomination: ( )).

        And pro-Israel money also controls the USA. No surprise. Same old, same old. Almost every politician is sold out. Maybe Bernie Sanders is not, but media are busy marginalizing him. Obama is vastly sold out (and Zionist lap-dog) and Clinton bids fair to be much worse. republicans don’t even pretend to be better.

        Until big-money (corporate and personal) is removed from politics, we all (the world all) loses everything to corporate power — TPP will destroy most national attempts to deal with global warming climate change and GWCC will destroy everything.

        And Palestine down the drain is almost an afterthought.

      • Walid on November 8, 2015, 10:34 am

        “Until big-money (corporate and personal) is removed from politics, we all (the world all) loses everything to corporate power” (Pabelmont)

        Compare between the US and Canada electoral financing laws in how much a political candidate is allowed to receive in direct and indirect contributions and how he is limited in the amount he is allowed to spend on his campaign. Very hard to buy a rep in Canada with the low limits.

      • Blownaway on November 8, 2015, 1:51 pm

        @sibiriak who know is they had ended the charade of peace process decades ago what would have happened. Who know if they didn’t enforce the occupation for decades where resistance would be today. And while it started as a sincere effort they got hooked on dirty money while the occupation entrenched. The only thing that scares the Israelis is talk of one state without the Vichy of Palestine perhaps there might still be some pizza left

      • Keith on November 9, 2015, 5:33 pm

        WALID- “Very hard to buy a rep in Canada with the low limits.”

        Then what accounts for the extreme right wing nature of the Harper government?

        As an aside, Canada is now prosecuting some guy based upon their hate crime law because of pressure from Canadian Jewish groups. I believe that it is considered anti-Semitic to criticize Israel in a lot of countries.

        “Section 319 of Canada’s criminal code is an extraordinary law by most western standards. It reads, in relevant part: “(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, willfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

        (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
        (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

        The statute does not define hatred, but does provide 4 statutory defenses.

        (a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;
        (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;
        (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or
        (d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

        It is important to understand that the prosecution (the Crown), with all of its resources, need only prove ‘hate,’ and then the only available defenses are affirmative, meaning that the burden of proof switches to the defense.” (Eve Mykytyn)

        The same thing is occurring in Argentina where a journalist is being prosecuted for anti-Semitism based upon his support for the Palestinians. These anti-Semitism laws are serious business, a tactic by the powerful to penalize criticism.

        “How did everything start? A few days ago, I received in my e-mailbox, a message from Google Inc, written in English, in which they informed me that “in the next 10 days” Google would have to give access to the Justice system to all my e-mail accounts, because of an intimation formulated by the Court of First Instance for the Criminal, Contraventions and Offences No. 28, where the cause Number 7271/15 is radicated.

        In this singular way, I found out about this incredible abuse of my privacy as a journalist, as my e-mail is primarily a medium of exchange of information with colleagues or media outlet, apart from the personal information that anyone has in their box. Such meddling is based on a criminal complaint made by the Delegation of Argentine Jewish Associations (in Spanish acronym, DAIA) accusing me for “being in solidarity” with the Palestinian people.

        DAIA and its lawyers presented themselves before the Public Prosecutor’s Office No. 25 to accuse me of “discriminatory organization and propaganda”, brandishing the argument of “anti-Semitism”. The reasons given for that procedure are illogical and offend me as a citizen and as a journalist.

        DAIA points to my participation in an activity of solidarity with the Palestine People in August 2014, when tons of Israeli Bombs were thrown in Gaza, causing thousands of innocent deaths —many of them children—, just as what is happening nowadays in West Bank. They consider my presence there to be criminal.” (Carlos Aznarez)

    • Boomer on November 8, 2015, 8:13 am

      “He can’t because he and Abbas and their cronies are corrupted by the occupation”

      Yes, if only the Israeli’s had had an honest partner for peace, they would have treated their Palestinian neighbors with dignity and respect, with loving compassion and justice, like they did before Abbas became President.

      • Blownaway on November 8, 2015, 3:13 pm

        Boomer Israel has been consistent across every governmental iteration the slow march towards total annexation. As have the Palestinains with Erakat. They were never going to treat their neighbors with dignity and respect and if they had any dignity or self respect they would have walked away long ago instead of signing on as enforcers of the occupation.

  4. inbound39 on November 7, 2015, 10:00 pm

    No matter who you are, it has become abundantly clear that when it comes to Israel and Palestine you cannot be too honest or truthful or regardless of who you are…..Obama,Erekat,Abbas or the lowly poster on the internet… will be silenced. :)

  5. Kris on November 7, 2015, 10:40 pm

    Erekat: “What they’re telling me now, ‘we had 200,000 settlers in the year 1993, today Dr. Erekat, we have 600,000 settlers, that’s the result of your peace process, that’s the result of your negotiations.’”

    The interviewer should have asked Erekat why it took him so long to figure this out. Everyone else in the world knew the “peace process” was a sham, designed to give Israel cover as it stole more and more from the Palestinians.

    Erekat did get one thing right: “I think we have a new leadership called the Israeli occupation. Mr. Netanyahu restarted, and reestablished his occupying forces…It’s time to invite Mr. Netanyahu to take over…”

    The P.A. is just Israel’s enforcer. It is way past time to dump it. It’s Israel’s occupation; Israel should be responsible for it.

    • WH on November 8, 2015, 5:34 pm

      ‘The interviewer should have asked Erekat why it took him so long to figure this out.’

      He’s known it for a while. Erekat has virtually made resigning, or rather threatening to resign, into a job of its own in the last 20 years. (From 2013)

      • Mayhem on November 10, 2015, 3:12 pm

        This was an appalling effort from an appalling Palestinian representative. Erekat could do nothing except reiterate the same old emotive sob story over and over again. Erekat is well past his use by date. He can do nothing else but blame Netanyahu for problems of his own making.
        “I’m not saying we are perfect” was a real doozy.
        Politicians who speak like him would be tossed out of office at the next elections but elections don’t happen in undemocratic, dysfunctional [..].

      • Kris on November 11, 2015, 8:13 pm

        @Mayhem: “Politicians who speak like him would be tossed out of office at the next elections but elections don’t happen in undemocratic, dysfunctional [..]. ”

        The word you’re looking for is occupied .

        When elections do take place in occupied Palestine, if the occupying government (i.e., the Zionist entity) doesn’t like the results, it just arrests the newly-elected legislators and punishes the occupied people for voting the “wrong” way.

  6. Marnie on November 8, 2015, 12:27 am

    Netanyahu destroys cities and murders people. The Palestinians don’t have anyone to lead them, to keep them hopeful for the future. This was a great article, not sure if it works here but its a great video.

    By +972 Blog
    |Published November 7, 2015
    Music video lambasts recruitment of Palestinians to Israel’s army

    Prominent Palestinian musicians say recruiting minority ethnic and religious Arab groups into the army is part of Israel’s divide-and-conquer tactics, pushing young Palestinians to ‘side with the occupation’ and shrug off their national and historical identity.

    By Rami Younis

    Two prominent Palestinian musicians released a hip-hop music video this week lambasting efforts to recruit young Palestinian citizens of Israel into the country’s army.

    The video, by musicians Tamer Nafar and Jowan Safadi and released by the Baladna Association for Arab Youth and Hamleh (The Palestinian Social Media Center), features a group of Israeli scientists sitting in a lab and trying to create a new kind of Arab.

    The chorus of the song bemoans how Israel “took our land, took our identity, dressed us in boots and military suits.”

    “We are struggling not only against Israelization,” says Safadi, who worked on the song with Nafar, a member of famed Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. “We are fighting the ethnic divisions the Israeli establishment is leveraging against us, which has been more prevalent over the past year or two.”

    Safadi is referring to certain members of the Arab community in Israel, such as Father Gabriel Nadaf, who the government supports as part of its divide-and-rule tactics pushing young people — in this case Christians — into the arms of the Israeli army.

    “When Tamer and I wrote this song, we wanted to emphasize two main topics — Israelization and ethnic division,” Safadi continues. “We tried to do it using irony. For example, we wanted to show how in exchange for having our land and rights taken away, we have been compensated with boots and military uniforms.”

    “We are speaking directly to ‘Israeli Arabs’ — those same Palestinians who are willing to be ‘Israelis’ even at the cost of shrugging off their national, historical identity and siding with the occupation,” Safadi says.

    Nadim Nashif, founder and director of Baladna, says that the song is primarily intended to dissuade Palestinian citizens from joining the army, “as well as against doing national service — we do not distinguish between the two.”

    “Army service and national service come from the same place,” Nashif continues. “The fact that the state tries to condition rights on a certain obligation is wrong. One can’t say ‘first serve, then you’ll get your [rights].’ Everybody knows that Druze who serve in the army get nothing, whereas ultra-Orthodox who don’t serve get more (state services and support). We are against this stipulation, and are aware of the fact that we’re up against the establishment.”

    “In our estimate, the state invests between NIS 40-50 million ($10-13 million) a year to enlist Arabs into the army,” Nashif adds. “If the state was really interested in equality, it would invest those same sums in young Arabs — in community centers, in youth centers, etc. The state is only interesting in dividing us, and its means for doing so is the army or national service.”

    The number of Arabs citizens who enlist in the army is still pretty low, Nashif believes. “The statistics the state publishes are problematic because the army is not a reliable source. We know from several sources that there are roughly 150 Christian recruits every year. There are 1,000 Bedouin, whereas among the Druze they claim there is an 80 percent enlistment rate.”

    However, ‘Urfud,’ a movement of youngsters against the draft of Druze citizens of Israel, points out that there has been a noticeable rise in the number of Druze refuseniks. “The numbers still aren’t worrying, but we are fighting with very meager tools — with Tamer and Jowan’s song, with creative means — against the massive, well-oiled propaganda machine,” Nashif adds.

    “The song is catchy and poppy because we’re talking with the youth,” Jowan Safadi said of the motivation to write the song and produce the video. ”We hope our message gets through.”

    The video was produced by Eli Rezik and filmed by Suhel Nafar. Full disclosure: I play the Israeli scientist in the video. The things we do for our homeland…

    video filmed by Suhail Nafar, directed by Eli Rizek

  7. Walid on November 8, 2015, 1:27 am

    Netanyahu wasn’t alone in destroying hope, he had help from the inside. The only negotiations of note reported on the Palestinian side were those in which Erekat and his team made one concession after another. The Jazeera-leaked Palestine Papers 5 years ago showed the extent of what the Palestinian negotiators had given away. Erekat says one thing like in this BBC interview but his actions go in the opposite direction

    According to Jazzera, the documents contain frank admissions in which Tzipi Livni says:

    “Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been the policy of the government for a really long time.

    The Jazeera article went on to say:

    “Saeb Erekat, an old-time Fatah operative, is in trouble because he is revealed to have offered the Israelis much of East Jerusalem. He is also said to have been convinced by the Israelis that the future Palestinian state would not have an army, air force or navy (i.e. it would lack sovereignty over its own territory and would only be an ersatz state). Even then, the Israelis kept demanding more and more.”

    From other Jazeera leaked papers, Erekat, he reportedly accepted to have a token number of returnees to Israel, some absurd number like 5,000 (from a pool of over 5 million refugees.) and that it would be spread over a period of several years.

    At just about the time of the release of the Jazeera Papers, that caused him to resign for 20 minutes before returning to his job. Erekat and 6 other Palestinian leaders made an ad for Israeli TV for a campaign called “Partners to Peace)”. Here’s Erekat’s contribution in which he apologizes to Israel for the Palestinians’ failure to conclude a peace deal:

    • Kay24 on November 8, 2015, 7:44 am

      It would be interesting to find out if Erekaat and others were somehow “bribed” into betraying their own people, and being so generous with their oppressors. Shame on them and all who back stab their own people for personal gain.

      There is nothing left for the Palestinians. They must now arm themselves and fight for their life and lands. BDS is the only help they can get from the world. The UN is toothless and although has caused this problem by placing homeless, unwanted Europeans in hostile territory, cannot do anything without US permission, to rectify this situation.

      • diasp0ra on November 8, 2015, 7:57 am

        No bribes needed, the whole basis for the creation of the PA is the only bribe they need.

        “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.” – Paradise Lost

    • pabelmont on November 8, 2015, 10:21 am

      What this says is that when the PA/PLO attempted to grovel and accept a truly embarrassingly miserable “peace”, Israel wasn’t interested. We who were not on the line have no business to tell the PA/PLO that it was wrong to attempt to salvage a miserable pittance from the disaster which is I/P.

      They could, as I’d have done, stuck to demanding the whole 22% (Gaza and full West Bank), etc., and that, too, would have gotten nowhere. That would have gotten MORE nowhere if that makes sense to say.

      Perhaps the PA/PLO took a long view — planning to encourage Israel to do what it has in fact done, become a home to fundamentalist religious/nationalist refusniks, daily becoming more egregious and encouraging other nations to overcome their lethargy (and their own subservience to big-Money and to USA) to take some sort of real step to end the occupation. Might not work, but what would work?

  8. peeesss on November 8, 2015, 2:23 am

    Abbas and Erekat destroyed “hope” long before Netanyahu became PM. Their obscene attempt to somehow derail the Zionists program of Eretz Israel by collaboration and submission was welcomed by various Israeli Prime Ministers. Mr.Erekat obviously believes there was “hope” when Rabin, Livni, Barak, Olmert and other Israeli leadership were in control of their Govt. The ignorance or is it just a bald faced lie to hide his own culpability. As the children of Palestine, men, women, boys and girls are beaten and executed in public to the delight of ,apparently, the vast majority of Israeli’s, Erekat and his cronies are nowhere to be scene on the streets of Palestine. Please Mr. Erekat go, with Abbas and families, to Paris, London and enjoy the luxury you have earned with your partnership with Zionism. I must add , how many Palestinians have been beaten, tortured, assassinated because of the information supplied to Israel by your intelligence services? Have you no shame..

    • Walid on November 8, 2015, 9:24 am

      “Please Mr. Erekat go, with Abbas and families, to Paris, London and enjoy the luxury you have earned with your partnership with Zionism.” (peeesss)

      My gut feeling is telling me when the time for the greener pastures arrive, it will be somewhere in Connecticut.

      • peeesss on November 8, 2015, 11:19 am

        {Walid} Abbas and Erekat, will wind up “somewhere in Connecticut” when they finally leave Palestine. Quite likely. And they will be wined and dined by “Liberal Zionist” individuals, organizations and think tanks as the Palestinians “we could do business with.” I recall Erekat first entry into the US consciousness appearing on a Ted Koppel TV show which included Ms. Ashrawi and Simon Peres. Even then the obvious contempt Peres showed Erekat was evident as Mr. Erekat pathetically begged Mr. Peres to “see me as a human being, Simon.” Peres would not look Erekat in the eye and most vividly would not use his name Saeb when responding.

  9. echinococcus on November 8, 2015, 2:37 am

    Nothing as badly needed as the death of that kind of “hope”.

  10. Tom Suarez on November 8, 2015, 5:49 am

    While I realize that it may have been the politically necessary thing to say, it’s ridiculous to suggest that Netanyahu destroyed the two-state solution. The two-state solution was D.O.A.

    If it ever was a “solution” at all (and I think it never was), Ben-Gurion destroyed it in 1948.

  11. Ossinev on November 8, 2015, 6:38 am

    Erekat has been threatening to “hand back the keys” to Israel for years now. Opportunity knocks. Have he and the rest of the Palestinian Politburo got the cojones ?

    I doubt it.

    • amigo on November 8, 2015, 9:12 am

      “Erekat has been threatening to “hand back the keys” to Israel for years now. – See more at:“.

      Let,s be honest , the PA would lose it,s safe passes and comfortable lifestyle if they “Hand back the Keys”. They would be of zero value to Israel as soon as they refuse to continue playing their role in the fake peace sham.They will probably end up in Israeli prisons on trumped up charges of incitement .Israel cannot afford to have them suddenly acquiring a conscience and coming clean .

      Palestinians should look to Israel for hope as it continues committing national suicide through it,s daily commission of war crimes and ethnic cleansing.Israel is on a downward spiral and nothing will stop that as the illegal squatters control the Army and the GOI.

      Give us the Greater Israel , or give us death.

  12. Kay24 on November 8, 2015, 7:38 am

    It would be amusing to hear/see Israel blame the Palestinians for the fact that today they have not been able to achieve a peace pact, and once again the US and Israeli supporters will act as if occupied people have the power to choose whether or not they want to be free from oppression.
    Yes, there is enough of blame to go around, but the blame for this is primarily on the US (for not being the honest broker and enabling the occupier by not threatening stop the endless aid and weapons) and Israel (the only occupier in history that is the victim of the occupied).

    Obama has been disappointing too. Netanyahu has interfered in our Presidential elections, keeps stealing lands for illegal settlements, makes controversial appointments (while showing outrage for our nominees like Chuck Hagel) lied, incited, massacred civilians, and who can forget Yahu’s arrogant speech in Congress? yet Obama lays out the red carpet for this despicable man, and yanks out the check book when Nutty “demands” even MORE.

    Didn’t Obama say that our policies regarding Israel will be changing, recently?

    He must have meant more aid, and easy acceptance of Israel’s crimes.

  13. Ossinev on November 8, 2015, 8:14 am

    “There is nothing left for the Palestinians. They must now arm themselves and fight for their life and lands. BDS is the only help they can get from the world.”

    Agreed and the more that the Zionists complain about BDS the more publicity it gets and the more that western institutions and even governments ( viz France ) seek to make it illegal the more publicity it will get,the more the western voter will get to know about and understand the reality of Israeli Fascism

    The recent French “legal” ruling is a case in point. IMO instead of counteracting the BDS movement it will encourage it as the French people themselves whatever else one thinks about their government and political elite have a deep sense of commitment to personal liberty and freedom of speech. Making it illegal for a Frenchman or woman to encourage a boycott of Israel is rather like the Vichy government making it illegal to encourage a boycott of the Third Reich. Hopefully in a short space of time this daft ruling by the French judges wil will blow up their faces.


  14. Walid on November 8, 2015, 9:58 am

    Quick question for Palestine watchers: which has resigned or threatened to resign and backtracked the most often, Erekat or Abbas?

    When they fired the dynamic PR team of Michael Tarazzi and Diana Buto at the request of the Zionists it showed them up. The very fluent duo (he an American and she a Canadian) were constantly on American TV delivering the Palestinian message very efficiently for a change and giving a completely different and positive picture of Palestinians from the one that had been propagated by the Zionists, which cost them their jobs.

    • Donald on November 8, 2015, 12:23 pm

      Interesting. I didn’t know that.

      • Walid on November 8, 2015, 3:42 pm

        Donald, the outfit that did the hatchet job on Tarazi-Buto was the conservative London think tank “Adam Smith Institute” through one of its subs the “Negotiations Support Unit” (NSU) that funded the PA and that “helped” them out in their negotiations. The monies to the effort were actually paid by the British Government and funneled to the PA via the NSU of the Adam Smith Institute.

        Abbas disbanded the negotiations unit when it was discovered that 3 of its employees had leaked the 1600 documents to Al-Jazeera. Excerpt from the same article in which Khaled Amayreh wrote:

        “… The NSU is funded and effectively controlled by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), a think-tank based in London which is vulnerable to pressure from pro- Israeli circles. For example, two years ago, the ASI forced the NSU to fire two highly-qualified Palestinian-American lawyers, Michael Tarazi and Diana Butto, for going too far in defending Palestinian rights, especially during TV debates with Israeli spokesmen. According to inside sources, one of the persons who pushed for firing the two Palestinian-American lawyers is Glenn Robinson, the author or co-author of the controversial RAND project “The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State”. Eventually, Tarazi and Butto were accused by pro-Israeli lobbyists, including some British MPs, of hindering the development of the Palestinian Ministry of Information and of not ensuring sufficient coordination with the PLO. Of course, these accusations were merely red herrings….”

        For the full story, go to the Adam Smith Institute and from there in the article to the section “Palestinian Negotiating Unit” halfway down in the article.

  15. amigo on November 8, 2015, 11:09 am

    This is interesting.

    When the White House Starts Talking About One State, Netanyahu Should Worry

    Senior U.S. officials believe that the U.S. must formulate a policy for a situation in which the two-state solution dies, and think about how this will mold ties with Israel.
    read more:

    “The briefings by senior American administration officials to the media over the weekend, ahead of the meeting between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, show a very disturbing paradigm shift with regard to the United States’ relationship to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For the first time, the White House and the State Department in Washington have begun to state publicly that the reality in the West Bank is becoming that of one state for two peoples.

    The bombshell was dropped by Obama’s senior adviser on the Middle East, Robert Malley. He stated that a new reality has been created in which not only is there no chance of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement but that even the possibility of renewing negotiations between the parties seems very slim.

    “The president is going to want to hear from PM Netanyahu, given that reality, which is a new one, how does he see Israel going forward in preventing the emergence of a one-state solution, “ he said
    read more:

    • diasp0ra on November 8, 2015, 11:14 am

      This is indeed very interesting. Like I have argued before, we are living the paradigm shift from a solution based on two states. The Academic and Intellectual arenas have been saying this for a while, but it has thus far remained taboo to speak of this internationally.

      The blinder effect of the two state solution is still pretty strong, but cracks are starting to show. Just like criticizing Israel used to be absolute taboo and that taboo has been broken in most parts of the world. Israel’s mythology is steadily breaking around it.

    • Sibiriak on November 8, 2015, 11:39 am

      amigo: [quoting] For the first time, the White House and the State Department in Washington have begun to state publicly that the reality in the West Bank is becoming that of one state for two peoples.

      Of course, Gaza is not included in this so-called “one-state for two peoples.” (Not to mention refugees.)

      So, they aren’t really talking about a “one-state” reality.

  16. joemowrey on November 8, 2015, 11:10 am

    There is a special place in hell for guys like Erekat and Abbas. “Netanyaho destroyed Hope?” Indeed. He did it with both of these two monsters on his payroll. Truly disgusting to listen to Erekat posturing. Sleaze, sleaze, sleaze.

  17. RobertB on November 8, 2015, 12:15 pm

    Erekat…Abbas…are incompetent…. and totally spineless. They are crooked and greedy. They are getting paid for their collaborations with their Zionist bosses at the expense of the Palestinian people. They should have been kicked out a long time ago…way back.

    Only the collaborators survive in the zionist schemes!!! And one can bet that the Israelis have so much bribery and other evidences on Abbas, Erekat…and the rest of the damn rotten gang of thieves.

    The Palestinians have paid so much….with everything…even with their own lives every day, while these fat cats are prospering in their villas….wealth….and no end to this predicament.

    Their wealth figures should be exposed to the Palestinian public!!!

  18. Theo on November 8, 2015, 12:19 pm

    I have watched many interviews of Stephen Sackur on BBC and in my opinion he is a zionist stooge, always trying to make his opponent small when it comes to Israel.
    Without the initial ping, there is no pong, and here he is not allowing Mr. Erekat to make his point of why do palestinians attack their oppressors. He tells Mr. Erekat what the PA must do, however to be fair, he should also mention what Israel must do. Were the zionist during 1948 satisfied with the territory what the UN gave them, (although they had no rights to make such a decision), we would not have all these problems in Palestina.

    As far as Angela Merkel goes, she is a stool of zionist interests and will never do anything to support the palestinian cause. She rarely makes a decision, but waits until the problem goes away. Recently she made her very first major decision without asking for advice and considering the consequences, and Germany is flooded with refugees it cannot afford to take in. Now she doesn´t know what to do, her government fight eachother, and already there are voices for her step down. I could never understand the praise and esteem she receives from foreign countries, she shows her colours right now, she is a blown up inapt politician, made by Helmut Kohl, her creator.

  19. amigo on November 8, 2015, 12:31 pm

    some good news .

    “The International Criminal Court’s top body late Friday kept the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla war crimes allegations against Israeli commandos and war-policy- making officials alive, ruling that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda must delve deeper into the case before she closes it.

    The ruling prolonged internal drama and disagreement among the ICC’s own bodies over whether to dive further into the Israeli-Arab conflict than it ever has before, which would bring Israeli soldiers closer to the real possibility of war crimes trials.

    There is disagreement over the issue even within the ICC Appeals Chamber, the institution’s top body. Friday’s vote saw a razor thin 3-2 majority voting against Bensouda’s appeal to keep the case closed. In an earlier lower court ruling by the ICC Pretrial Chamber, the vote had also been split 2-1, ruling against Bensouda over how to handle the flotilla raid.

    In November 2014, Bensouda closed the file, saying that while the IDF’s conduct in the incident seemed to her to display elements of war crimes, the 10 activists killed by the Israel Navy commandos simply did not constitute a high enough body count to warrant her involvement, since she focuses on mass killings”.

  20. Ossinev on November 8, 2015, 12:38 pm

    Having watched the Hardtalk interview with Erekat again it seemed that he was “genuinely and passionately” at the end of his tether vis a vis “peace” and the”two state solution”. At the end of his tether because he had no more wool to pull over the Palestinians eyes. He kept asking “what do I say to my son”. Almost as if his son/daughter/nephew whatever had finally called his bluff about negotiations and UN initiatives being the only way and told him to his face that he was nothing more than a self serving collaborator. It came across almost like a MAYDAY MAYDAY plea not to Nitay but to the good old US = “Help for God`s sake we have completely run out of 2SS ammunition on our side.We`re really f….d. You have got to do something.”

    Truth is there is nothing that the US or the UN can now do. The US is bought and bent. The UN is in a US stranglehold due to the US veto on the Security Council The 2SS is a corpse. It cannot be revived. The only relevant player now is BDS and that can only be led by Europe.



  21. amigo on November 8, 2015, 12:41 pm

    Some more good news on the BDS front.

    “Munich mayor snubs Israel’s request to cancel city-funded anti-Semitic BDS event “j post

    “BERLIN – Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter on Friday refused a request from Israel’s consul- general in the city to pull the plug on an allegedly anti-Semitic event in a municipal building advocating a boycott of the Jewish state.

    “We are in touch with the municipality of Munich in order to prevent this event from happening,” diplomat Dan Shaham wrote to The Jerusalem Post on Friday. “We are awaiting their decision.”

    Reiter’s press spokesman, Stefan Hauf, wrote the Post: “The mayor made a call to General-Consul Dan Shaham and argued that he does not have a basis to cancel the event. According to the cultural representative, the event is merely a lecture, and a call to boycott is not planned.”

    • Walid on November 9, 2015, 2:11 am

      More good news:
      Yesterday November 7th was the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians. Young people gathered at 6 pm in many towns and villages on the WB to chant “Mawtini” (My Homeland) I’d say sort of in defiance of the Palestinian Authority since the official anthem as dictated by the PLO since 1996 has been warrior-like anthem named “Fida’i” that sang the glory of the fighters of the fedayeen resistance.

      Mawtini was on the soft idealistic and romantic side about Palestinians aspiring for independence written in 1934 by Palestinian poet Ibrahim Tuqan. Yes , there were Palestinians around in 1934 aspiring for a state of their own and Mawtini became the de facto national anthem of Palestine until the PLO changed things.

      Yesterday’s chanting of “Mawtini” instead of the PLO’s “Fida’i was a turning point for Palestinians.

      Sadly in 2004 in Iraq under the American occupation, American Governor Paul Bremer decided all on his own that “Mawtini” would henceforth be the national anthem of Iraq, eliminating the current anthem “Ard Alforatain” that had been in use since 1961. Maybe the Palestinians are now claiming it back.

      Mawtini with English subtitles:

    • Kay24 on November 9, 2015, 7:14 am

      Walid, when I listen to that national anthem, it makes me realize how much these poor people have lost, and are losing, because of hostile, and dishonest neighbors, who occupy them, so that they can steal all.

  22. Herchel on November 8, 2015, 1:46 pm

    I really could care less about what you want to call them or not call them, Stephen…The question is why such people do such things?

    This morally corrupt POS needn’t look any further than the mirror. He wants peace like my dentist wants to irradicate tooth disease. There will not be peace until he and his […] get out of Israel and go to Palestine (Jordan). With another year of Obama in the White House, we know that we’re already on our own. Not a smart time to incite stabbings against Israelis. Put our backs to the wall and soon enough you will see how right Kahane obm was.

    • Rashers2 on November 9, 2015, 9:38 am

      Hush, Herchel! Didn’t Hasbara-Central tell you in basic training that oafish, thuggish, bullying ideologues like you can give a nation a bad name? “Let’s have one last pogrom and drive all of those pesky Ay-rabs into the East Bank.” If any of your bosses at H-C sees this post, they should dismiss you instantly and refuse to pay you any arrears of stipend! The last thing H-C needs is trolls like you giving away the Ziopaths’ true agenda for the Final Solution to what, in 2003, Mileikowsky described as Israel’s “demographic problem”; not to mention un-veiled threats to up the murder quotient if said Ay-rabs don’t quietly get back to pickin’ Israel’s cotton, `stead of agitatin’ for damn-fool nonsense like dignity, equality and the return of their own property. You are deeply suited to a sick organisation like the Kak[sic] party.

    • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 2:28 pm

      “Not a smart time to incite stabbings against Israelis. Put our backs to the wall and soon enough you will see how right Kahane obm was.”

      Oh, blow it out your ass. “Of Blessed Memory”? Listen to the pisk-malocheh! Oy Vey, The Bluish Panthers!

  23. HarryLaw on November 8, 2015, 2:17 pm

    The Palestinian leadership has been too credulous over the past 20 years, how else to explain the expansion of settlements every day. These are grave war crimes, in another comment earlier, I gave an analogy whereby a tenant who had agreed to pay his landlord $100 a week, had failed to pay anything for the past 20 years. The question then is who is the fool? The Americans love winners, just one look at Abbas and Erakat [especially in that video] tell the Americans that these two are losers, and big time. One would hope that fellow Arab leaders would back the Palestinians up, but no, the Saudis and other GCC states plus Egypt have practically been in bed with the Israelis these past few years. It is very strange that the true friends of the Palestinians who happen to be Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah, known as the ‘arc of resistance’ are people who Abbas would not touch with a barge pole. The ‘arc’ with the help of the Russians are changing the face of the Middle East, this is what the Israelis are afraid of [with justification]. A strong Iran, bolstered by the lifting of sanctions, able and very willing to supply weapons and financing to its allies in Syria and Lebanon. All aimed at Israel.

  24. Polly on November 9, 2015, 10:49 am

    At least the interviewer gives Erekat enough time to paint the full picture of the cruelty of the occupation, the bleakness of future prospects for Palestinians and the utter impotence of any kind of resistance whether it be physical or political. Even so it’s hard to bear watching this unwavering line of questioning which insists that the onus of any explanation is ALWAYS on the battered an bloodied victim.

    • James Canning on November 9, 2015, 1:37 pm

      The most effective resistance is simply getting on with their lives in occupied Palestine.

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 2:03 pm

        “The most effective resistance is simply getting on with their lives in occupied Palestine.”

        Because if there is one thing every Palestinian in Israel-occupied territory can do it is “simply getting on with their lives”. Thank God the occupation never interferes with that

      • James Canning on November 9, 2015, 5:30 pm

        Mooser – – Interference is part of Natanyahu’s game plan. As I am sure we both agree.

  25. James Canning on November 9, 2015, 1:07 pm

    I have assumed for many years that destruction of “hope” is part of Netanyahu’s programme.

    • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 2:11 pm

      “I have assumed for many years that destruction of “hope” is part of Netanyahu’s programme.”

      Yes, but:

      “The most effective resistance is simply getting on with their lives in occupied Palestine.”

      Simply getting on with your life involves a great deal of hope, or it should. I couldn’t live without it. I doubt anybody else could, or should. You know, the hope that you can simply get on with your life, that hope that Israel is systematically destroying in occupied Palestine.

      • James Canning on November 9, 2015, 5:34 pm

        If the Palestinians remain in place in occupied Palestine, at some point Israel will be forced to end the occupation. In my view.

      • Mooser on November 9, 2015, 7:07 pm

        “If the Palestinians remain in place in occupied Palestine, at some point Israel will be forced to end the occupation. In my view.”

        It is horrible. As you say, if they stay it may be possible Israel will be forced to end the occupation. Let’s hope they do have to at least stop the occupation! But they will take it out on the Palestinians.
        If the Palestinians leave, even for a better life, what chance do they have of ever regaining their lives and property in Palestine? Which they have a right to. In any case, they won’t be able to simply get on with life in any way that I can understand.
        Palestinians are caught in a terrible dilemma as I’m sure you know, sometimes aspects of the terrible situations strike me afresh.

      • James Canning on November 10, 2015, 12:57 pm

        When you refer to “Palestine”, do you mean the West Bank? If so, leaving the country may not mean an end to property rights in that country. Protecting the property rights of the Palestinians abroad would be important.

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