Dr. Saeb Erekat has emailed a press release today from the Palestine Liberation Organization''s Negotiations Office (an oxymoron; didn''t he resign?) wherein he is referred to as "Chief Palestinian negotiator." By the way, Erekat is considered very disparagingly by some of his fellow Arabs with someone from Lebanon even calling him a buffoon, which I wouldn''t do.
He has written, responding to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon''s great new video clip, that:“The acquisition of territory by force and aggression is both illegal and deplorable. This is a well established principle of international law. The world regards the Palestinian Territory comprised of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as an occupied territory. Furthermore, the fact that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal is not in dispute, except in minds of the advocates of occupations.” That is nonsense.As for the charge that “Yes, but the Palestinians have already been required to give up parts of an ancestral Arab homeland,” let''s have the view of a liberal, former The New Republic Editor, Marty Peretz, who writes, in connection to the subject:
Actually, the greatest part of Palestine is Jordan, where most Palestinians live. So, in a very real sense, they already have a country, except that it is ruled by an authoritarian monarchy that was imposed on them by the British. That the Arabs of eastern Palestine don’t live under democratic rule is the fault of neither David Ben-Gurion nor Netanyahu. It is a result of a deeply ingrained, political and social structure that, across the huge swath of land from Morocco to Iraq, has been imposed, without a single exception, by dictators. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want Israel to operate or control or, for heaven’s sake, absorb the West Bank. Let the Arabs on the east and west banks of the Jordan River team up and see what they can make of their soon-to-be one country. I don’t think it will be pretty. You do? Good luck.
As for his claims "The acquisition of territory by force and aggression is both illegal and deplorable. This is a well established principle of international law," actually(a) Israel''s 1967 war was one of defense. The Arabs were the aggressors. Remember that sea blockade at the Gulf of Tiran and the Suez Canal?(b) Force, if justly used, assuredly permits acquisition of territory. (c) Since there was no "state of Palestine," Israel is under no legal obligation to award some group calling itself the "Palestinian people" anything (and, by the way, the 1949 Geneva Convention on Human Rights legally applies solely to the "High Contracting Parties" and since there was no "Palestine," that is another problem for Erekat). (d) The territory in question, to repeat, was awarded by international law to the Jewish people to reconstitute therein our Jewish national homeland.
As for the claim that "The world regards the Palestinian Territory comprised of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip as an occupied territory," yes, that is true but as a "right" well, it is one of diplomacy and questionable misrepresentation.
As for "the fact that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal is not in dispute, except in minds of the advocates of occupations" is also imprecise. There are many international law jurists and scholars who claim otherwise.
In any case, Jerusalem and the regions of Judea and Samaria are distinct from each other. Even Erekat must acknowledge that his claims are based on (an incorrect) interpretation of the 1947 Partition recommendation which set aside Jerusalem as a corpus seperatum. Arabs, even according to this framework, have no better claim than Jews to the area.
In essence, Erekat is but a propagandist.My advice to him: make his own video clip.Probably more success than floating a boat in a...flotilla.