In response to the video release, Saeb Erekat, representing the Palestinian Authority, put out a two page official press release, condemning the alleged “lies and distortions” of the video. In actuality, Erekat did not respond to any of the factual points raised by Deputy Minister Ayalon in the video.
In response to the Erekat press release, Deputy Minister Ayalon issued his own press releaseasking Mr. Erekat why he did not address even one factual issue in the video. Ayalon also invited Erekat to a public debate on all the issues. “I challenge any of the Palestinian Authority political leadership to an open debate on all the issues ahead of September.” Mr. Erekat refused to take part in a public debate saying that “ending the Israeli occupation is not a point needed to discuss”.
This episode did not end there. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister sent out another press releasesaying the following:
“I am more than a little surprised that Erekat rejected my offer of an open and public debate, especially considering he was concerned enough about our video to release a two page official press release”.
“Erekat is used to telling the world that Israel’s policies are illegal and against international law and I offered him the chance to back up his own statements and he is proving unable or unwilling to do so.”
“Like its diplomatic policies, it appears that the Palestinian Authority is only able to debate unilaterally.”
The sad thing about this episode is that it clearly demonstrates how the Palestinian Authority in general, and Erekat in particular, are scared of debating the facts regarding the dispute.
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