Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, attends a reception hosted by the Orthodox Union in Jerusalem ahead of the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida cited "democracy and free speech" as the reasons it would not apologize for calling US President Trump's special envoy Jason Greenblatt a mongoloid, retarded and having Down syndrome in a column published last week.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated the paper's response to backlash on Thursday.
The paper wrote, "It is important to the daily to clarify that it respects freedom of opinion and expression, which is anchored in Palestinian basic law, and that this freedom is not banned or subjected to censorship.”
PMW followed the statement by noting that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Palestinian parliament and has been ruling for 15 years straight with general elections only being held twice.
The Palestinian Disability Coalition spoke out against author Omar Ghoul and called on the PA to hold him accountable for his description of Greenblatt, Palestinian reporter Daoud Kuttab tweeted.
In the original op-ed, Ghoul wrote that “anyone who looks at the American envoy [Greenblatt] discovers that he has external and inner characteristics similar to those suffering from Down Syndrome.
“He is short, his eyes are similar to Mongoloid eyes, he prattles unrestrainedly, and is politically retarded," it stated.
Greenblatt responded, saying: "The comments of Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul are disgusting and demonstrate a complete disregard for the dignity of every human life. Terms like 'mongoloid and 'retarded" have no place in a civilized world.”
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