An update on this story. Predictably, even though Maen Rashid Areikat made these same comments last year, he is now said to have been misquoted, and as reported below, he wants USA Today to “reverse the story.”
Perhaps the PA realized that ambassador’s calls for “total separation” of Jews and Muslims at the outset of a Palestinian state could damage the future prospects for the train wreck known as the “right of return,” an attempted demographic conquest in waiting.
Perhaps also, they realized the double standard the ambassador articulated was a little too frank for the present moment, seeing as Israeli Arabs live as regular citizens of the Jewish state. “Palestinian officials: Jews welcome,” by Josh Gerstein and MJ Lee for Politico, September 16:
Palestinian officials are rolling out the welcome mat for Jews to come to a new Palestinian state.
Trying to tamp down a controversy over whether a Palestinian state would be Jew-free, Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian minister of religious affairs, said a future state would be open to people of all religions, including Jews.
“The future Palestinian state will be open to all its citizens, regardless of their religion,” Habbash said, according to USA Today. “We want a civil state, which in it live all the faiths, Muslim, Christian and Jews also if they agree, (and) accept to be Palestinian citizens.”
Maen Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to the United States, told POLITICO that his comments earlier this week which some interpreted as meaning Jews would not be welcome were misconstrued.
“In no way was there a suggestion that Jews cannot enter Palestine or be in Palestinian state in the future,” Areikat said.
The officials” comments follow a controversy the ambassador’s remarks at a breakfast on Tuesday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in which he said that Jews and Palestinians “need to be totally separated.”
USA Today reported that Areikat was calling for the future Palestinian state to “free of Jews.”
Areikat told POLITICO that was a “total fabrication” and he said the report was a “malicious” manipulation of what he had said.
“It was a set-up to try to say something on my behalf I didn’t even say I did not mention the word Jews in my answer. I did not allude to that at all,” Areikat said. “We have never said this is a religious conflict.”
He added that the report was “so inflammatory” that he is requesting a meeting with an editor at USA Today there to “reverse the story.”…