Palestinian “Moderate” Sari Nusseibeh: “No Jew” May Live In A Future Palestinian State, Jaffa Should Be Part Of It
December 24, 2007

ZOA: Cut ties with Nusseibeh and his Al-Quds University

Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, the Dean of Al-Quds University, who is widely touted as a Palestinian “moderate,” recently stated in an interview on Al-Jazeera Television that, “The Israelis now living in the territories of the future Palestinian state should return to living within the borders of the state of Israel. No Jew in the world, now or in the future, as a result of this document, will have the right to return, to live, or to demand to live in Hebron, in East Jerusalem, or anywhere in the Palestinian state.” He also said, ” What’s wrong with Taibeh [an Arab city in Israel], for example, being an integral part of an Arab Palestinian state? … Jaffa [part of Tel Aviv] too” (Interview, Al-Jazeera TV, November 30, 2007, translation courtesy of Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)).

Nusseibeh has a long record of extremism which is camouflaged by vague, conciliatory statements he often makes to the Western media and Israeli left-wing activists.

  • 1991: Nusseibeh was arrested when discovered collecting security information for Iraqi intelligence to assist the accuracy of its Scud missile attacks upon Israel at the time of the first Gulf War.

  • Late 1980s: Nusseibeh describes in his book, Once Upon a Country, that during the first intifada, he smuggled money from Jordan to the Palestinian leadership (Jewsweek, April 27, 1997).

  • 1989: Distinguished historian Efraim Karsh has described that in 1989 meeting he had in London with PLO figures, including Nusseibeh, he found Nusseibeh to be the most extreme of the group: “Dismissing out of hand the two-state solution — Israel and a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — he instead sang the praise of the ‘one-state paradigm’ — a standard catchphrase for Israel’s destruction — demanding the incorporation of the West Bank and Gaza population into the Jewish state as full-fledged citizens, to be followed by the refugees from the neighboring Arab states and beyond” (Karsh, ‘A Palestinian Two Step,’ New York Sun, May 2, 2007).

Previous statements by Nusseibeh:

  • Regarding a statement he and others issued questioning the use of suicide bombing within Israel (not Judea and Samaria and Gaza) on purely tactical grounds: “We did not address our brothers in the various resistance factions to chastise them, or to condemn them, or depict the resistance as terror, or to de-legitimize it. None of these words appeared in the communiqué … [Our] aim was to convey a message that there is a need to reexamine the benefit of the [martyrdom] operations within Israel in the context of the goals we seek to accomplish” (, June 24, 2002, archived by MEMRI).

  • Speaking during a panel discussion on Qatari Television (June 29, 2002) alongside senior Hamas official Khaled Mashal and Umm Nidal, the mother of a suicide bomber, said, “When I hear the words of Umm Nidal, I recall the Koranic verse stating that ‘Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.’ All respect is due to this mother, it is due to every Palestinian mother and every female Palestinian who is a Jihad fighter on this land” (Al-Jazeera Television (Qatar), June 29, 2002, translation courtesy of MEMRI).

  • In an April 2005 debate at Dartmouth College, Nusseibeh advocated the creation of a binational state, not a state alongside Israel: “We will have spent 100 years killing and fighting each other, doing our best to avoid a one state solution, and we will find ourselves in that exact situation in 40 or 50 years” (Karsh, ‘A Palestinian Two Step,’ New York Sun, May 2, 2007).

  • In the late 1990s, Nusseibeh told an old Oxford friend that “one day, in the near or further future, all this [Israel and Palestine] will be one binational state. It’s just a question of how we get there” (Karsh, ‘A Palestinian Two Step,’ New York Sun, May 2, 2007).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “There is a documented and clear record of Sari Nusseibeh’s extremism, culminating with his recent interview in which he speaks of ethnically cleansing a future Palestinian state of Jews and even calls for major Israeli cities within the green line to be part of a possible future Palestinian state.

“ZOA urges all Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and universities to abrogate their relationship with Sari Nusseibeh and to sever all ties with the Al-Quds University of which he is president, until and unless Nusseibeh publicly retracts these statements, publicly accepts Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and publicly condemns Hamas and other terrorist groups that murder and maim Israelis.”

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