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PA daily op-ed writer ‘apologizes’ for op-ed in which he called US special envoy a “mongoloid”

Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: "Love, peace, and apology"
      "A friend asked me about the misunderstanding that arose among some of the relatives of people that suffer from Down Syndrome and the workers and administrators of the special schools and institutions dedicated to them as a result of the confusion that arose from inaccurate reading of the message and goal of my article from four days ago, titled 'The American Prattle Syndrome.' This article intended to emphasize the failure of the American administration to pass the deal of the century (i.e., US President Trump's as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan) and all of its plans that are striving to harm the rights and fundamental principles of our Palestinian Arab people.
For that reason, the connection between Down Syndrome and 'the American prattle' syndrome was not meant to disparage or hurt those suffering from Down Syndrome or to cause pain to their relatives, as all those special needs are an integral part of the people, and they have a place and are valued. I personally, as a human being, writer, and a man of politics, act according to our tolerant norms, values, laws, and religious teachings, and out of my affiliation with the national and humanitarian project, in order to strengthen their role in society, their placement in dedicated places of employment [for the handicapped], and their increased presence in society, education, culture, sport, and the area of environment. For this reason neither I nor any Palestinian patriot who suckled the milk of nationality, and who suffered oppression, expulsion, being refugees, and the despicable Israeli racism, can hold any position other than one that loves, supports, and adopts all of the needs and causes of those with special needs, and particularly of those suffering from Down Syndrome.
And even in regard to the senior officials of the present American administration, their character, their looks, or their appearance do not interest me – nor their affiliation or their inner or external relations. All that interests me is to oppose their political positions that contradict the interests of my people. All of my dialogue with them and against them arises from protecting the peace option, the fundamental principles, and the rights of my deprived people that is suffering from the Israeli colonialism state's rejection of the option of just, possible, and accepted peace – the two-state option on the borders of June 4, 1967, and the guarantee of the right of return for the refugees on the basis of international [UN] Resolution 194, the right to self-determination and equality in the Galilee, the Triangle, the Negev, and on the coast (these areas are part of Israel –Ed.).
I personally am from the pioneers of peace and tolerance, stand firmly behind spreading the culture of peace in Palestine and all states of the world, and strongly reject any type of discrimination against people, regardless of their gender, color, race, religion, illness, and social standing. I send from here all of the blessings of love and peace to those suffering from Down Syndrome, to their families, and to those who work in their institutions, and bow in appreciation and respect for all of them."
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