The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official, Saeb Erekat, for his statement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal who isn’t “worth the bullet” it would take to shoot him. It has called upon PA president Mahmoud Abbas to publicly condemn and repudiate Erekat’s words.
Erekat’s remarks from an unidentified meeting are contained on a recording which was leaked by the Awraq News Agency and uploaded on Youtube in recent days. In his remarks, Erekat said that he had urged Mahmoud Abbas to apply to international institutions to apply pressure on Israel through threats of lawsuits. He said Netanyahu would make concessions if branded a war criminal in international courts, and that “Without a cane to his ass [Netanyahu won’t act]. I don’t say shoot him. He isn’t worth the bullet” (Elhanan Miller, ‘Top Palestinian negotiator rips into ‘discredited, useless’ Abbas: In leaked recording, Saeb Erekat compares PA president to Saddam and Assad; says Netanyahu ‘a war criminal’ who’s ‘not worth a bullet,'” Times of Israel, June 12, 2014).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Saeb Erekat has a long history of vicious, false and extremist acts and language (a sampling of which can be viewed below). He has never lost an opportunity to shamelessly defame Israel or to gentrify foul, genocidally-minded terrorists, like his PA Hamas colleagues. He has even been exposed writing to a jailed Palestinian terrorist and praising him for his murderous deeds.
“Even so, his latest statement sets a new standard for gutter language. PA chief Mahmoud Abbas should publicly condemn and repudiate Erekat’s words or else stand guilty by omission for them.”
Saeb Erekat’s extremist, anti-peace words and deeds:
- April 2014: Erekat is reported as saying that “Hamas has a right not to recognize Israel, and that it is a Palestinian group, not a terrorist one” (‘Saeb Erekat: Hamas is not a terrorist organisation,’ Middle East Monitor, April 27, 2014).
- November 2010: Erekat sent a letter of praise to Ahmed Sa’adat, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist leader who planned the 2001 assassination of Israeli minister Rechavam Ze’evi, expressing “solidarity and brotherhood” for “my dear brother” (‘Gil Ronen, ‘PA “Moderate” Erekat Praised Ze’evi Assassination Mastermind,’ Israel National News, November 7, 2010).
- June 2009: “nobody should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian [state] … We have an absolute right to east Jerusalem … The problem of the [Palestinian] refugees is not the result of a volcano [eruption], earthquake, or flood. Someone caused it. Before we talk of international law, we must pinpoint the element responsible, and Israel must acknowledge this responsibility … We do not see Iran as posing a threat to us. Iran is a country in the region with whom we [sometimes] disagree and [sometimes] agree. (‘MEMRI: Saeb Ereqat: Over the Years, Israel Has Gradually Withdrawn from Its Positions; Therefore, We Have No Reason to Hurry,’ Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), July 13, 2009).
- April 2002: Saeb Erekat lied by infamously claiming that Israel had committed a massacre in Jenin: “We have 1,600 missing men in this refugee camp. Mostly women and children, husbands and wives. I’m not saying they are killed … They’re not out there to fight terror. They are conducting terror … we officially offer … to have an international commission of inquiry to get the results and to decide how many people were massacred. And we say the number will not be less than 500” (‘CNN WOLF BLITZER REPORTS: Secretary Powell Leaves Middle East Empty Handed; Palestinians Remain Under Israeli Siege,’ April 17, 2002). Subsequent investigations found no evidence to substantiate Erekat’s deliberately fraudulent claims of a massacre. 52-54 Palestinians, mostly armed combatants and 23 IDF soldiers, were found to have been killed in the fighting.