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Israel Battles to Save Life of Chief Palestinian Authority Diplomat
Notorious inciter turns to the people he demonizes to save his life.
By Ari Lieberman
On October 18, Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem admitted senior Palestinian diplomat, Saeb Erekat, for emergency treatment relating to complications resulting from contracting Covid-19. At 65-years-old, Erekat suffers from a number of high-risk, co-morbidity factors including a heart condition and a 2017 lung transplant. He is currently connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine and his prognosis is not good. Israeli doctors, who are battling to save his life, said that Erekat is beginning to exhibit signs of multiple organ failure.
Erekat is no ordinary Palestinian Authority diplomat. He is the Palestine Liberation Organization’s secretary general, is part of the PA elite, and is one of President Mahmoud Abbas’s closest advisers. With his polished English and custom-tailored suits, Erekat has endeared himself to the useful idiots of the radical left. This upcoming year, he was slated to mentor students at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Unfortunately, Erekat is also a congenital liar, a spreader of conspiracy theories, a rabid anti-Semite and one of Israel’s harshest critics, bordering on pathological.
The notion of Erekat being admitted to an Israeli hospital for life-saving treatment presents double ironies and exposes the PA’s naked hypocrisy. In 2019, Abbas prohibited ordinary Palestinians from seeking medical treatment in Israel. The move was ostensibly prompted by the false charge of Israeli overcharging. In reality, Abbas acted because he was angry over Israel’s decision to withhold Palestinian tax remittances in proportion to amounts the PA channeled to Palestinian terrorists – an insidious PA practice macabrely referred to as, “pay for slay.”
But Abbas’s petty and counterproductive action applied exclusively to the ordinary Palestinian but exempted the Palestinian elite. Those who belonged to Abbas’s inner circle, including Erekat, were permitted treatment. The Palestinian leader was essentially telling his people, “do as I say, not as I do.”
Moreover, Erekat is among the PLO’s most notorious spreaders of blood libels and assorted conspiracy theories against the Jewish people and Israel. It is more than Ironic that he would be seeking life-saving treatment from the nation he demonizes most.
In 2002, Erekat claimed that Israel had committed a massacre in the Palestinian city of Jenin and killed 500 noncombatants. A UN commission of inquiry assigned to investigate the matter determined that the allegation was completely false. In fact, during the course of an immensely difficult counterinsurgency operation, the Israel Defense Forces killed between 52 and 56 Palestinians, nearly all of whom were combatants belonging to various Palestinian terrorist groups.
In 2014, Erekat alleged that Israel had killed 12,000 Palestinians in Gaza, and that ninety-six percent were civilians. In fact, during Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, about 2,000 Gazans were killed and more than half of these fatalities were combatants. Of the remainder, many were killed by errant Hamas rockets or defective terrorist ordinance meant for Israel.
Erekat’s prevarications are just the tip of the iceberg. In the past, he’s defended random car ramming and knife attacks, portraying these acts of terrorism as legitimate acts of self-defense against what he termed “summary executions” perpetrated by the “occupation.” One such attack led to the passage of the Taylor Force Act, named after Taylor Force, a West Point graduate and veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was killed in Tel Aviv by a knife wielding Palestinian. The Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2018, prohibits disbursement of economic aid to the PA until it ceases its practice of providing stipends to Palestinian terrorists and families of deceased terrorists.
Erekat also falsely pushed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel systematically burns down mosques and churches. In 2014, he compared Israel’s democratically elected leader to ISIS. He opposes normalization with the Israel, stating that he would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He’s vehemently condemned recent Arab rapprochement efforts with Israel, referring to those efforts as a “stab in the back.”
In sum, Erekat has molded himself into an anti-Semitic, rejectionist who has attempted to harm Israel’s image internationally. Despite the proven absurdity of many of his outrageous accusations and baseless allegations, he is still hailed as a “moderate” in some circles.
Notwithstanding Erekat’s pernicious history, Israeli doctors are waging a valiant effort to save his life, and that just about sums up the difference between Israel and its genocidal enemy.