Lieberman says PA has adopted Judenrein policy

Foreign minister comments come day after PLO envoy to US calls for complete separation between Jewish, Arab populations.

September 15, 2011 11:18
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman looks sad, crying? 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said "The Palestinian Authority has adopted the German idea of Judenrein," for clearing residential areas of Jews, Army Radio reported Thursday. 

Lieberman's comments came the day after the PLO envoy to the US Maen Rashid Areikat said that he believed Jewish and Arab populations must be completely separated with the creation of the Palestinian state.

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The foreign minister - who just recently criticized the PA for inciting against Israel and glorifying terrorists - urged all nations to take the PLO comments into account when they vote for Palestinian statehood recognition at the UN next week.

The Palestinian envoy to the US said Tuesday in Washington that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) opposes the immediate presence of Jews and gays in an independent Palestinian state, according to reports in US-based publications The Daily Caller and The Weekly Standard.

When asked by Jamie Weinstein, senior editor and columnist for The Daily Caller, whether a Jew could be elected mayor of Ramallah in an independent Palestinian state, Areikat said, “after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”

Areikat added that “Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future.”

In response to a query from John McCormack from The Weekly Standard about whether homosexuals would be tolerated in a newly-formed Palestinian state, “Ah, this is an issue that’s beyond my [authority].” said Areikat.

In an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Weinstein wrote that, “Similar comments coming from an Israeli official would merit worldwide condemnation. But we hear nothing from the world community when the Palestinian ambassador to the US calls for a Jew-free state.

“Pushing for a state for the Palestinian Arabs is well and good, but it seems like the world should spend a little bit of time pondering what sort of state it will be.”

Areikat’s controversial comments took place at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor to discuss an independent Palestinian state.

Weinstein’s questioning triggered widespread coverage in the national US media, including an article in USA Today headlined “PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews.”

The Weekly Standard magazine wrote on its website Tuesday that “Palestinian Ambassador Won’t Say if Homosexuals Would Be Tolerated by a Palestinian State.”

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