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PA daily op-ed condemns normalization with Israel, condemns Israel as “ethnic cleansing state”

Headline: “We are not a bridge to the beautification of Israel’s image”

Excerpt of op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for the official PA daily

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership’s call to the Arab brothers… to visit the imprisoned Palestinian people and to go up to the holy sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron, and in other cities, does not in any way mean a permit for the merchants of free normalization (those pushing for a normalization of ties with Israel without it taking the steps demanded of it by the Arab Peace Initiative –Ed.) to take advantage of the national call in order to implement a policy that the Palestinian and Arab collective refuses and condemns.

In this context the retired Saudi Arabian General Anwar Eshki visited the Palestinian territories in the middle of last July. He infiltrated them on the pretext of a visit to Jerusalem and prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first of the two directions of prayer, and the third holiest mosque, and met with several Israeli officials, including Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, and a number of Israeli MPs. But it did not end with that. Director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies Abd Al-Hamid Hakim, who accompanied Eshki on his unwanted visit, came and announced on Al-Alam Channel, positions that have no connection to the truth, and moreover – that turn the facts upside down and harm the rights, goals, and struggle of the Palestine people. He said: ‘The image of Israeli society that has emerged in Arab society is incorrect.’ The same bribe-taker continued in his positions that are hostile to peace and Palestine, and said: ‘This is because Israeli society does not espouse the culture of death and blood-spilling. On the contrary, it is a culture that espouses the culture of life, and it has made achievements about whose fate it is concerned. It enjoys a culture of coexistence, and also seeks peace.’ Hakim, who has no connection to his name (i.e., Hakim means smart/wise in Arabic), added: ‘The problem between the Palestinians and the Israelis is not the territories (the homeland becomes a matter of ‘territories’ and not of homeland, identity, history, and culture) [parentheses in source]. During our meetings with Dore Gold and the Israeli MPs, the disagreement was not about the Arab Peace Initiative, as in principle they accept this initiative (To what Arab initiative are you referring? The upside-down one that paves the way to regional cooperation?) [parentheses in source] (The comment in parentheses refers to cooperation between Israel and the countries in the region based on shared interests, which would occur without any concessions on Israel’s part –Ed.). The problem with the [Palestinian] issue is just the lack of trust between the two sides.’

This man, who is distributing spoiled goods, does not know the history of the conflict, or he knows it but is turning from the truth and turning the facts upside down. This is because the history of the Israeli ethnic cleansing state, [from its establishment] and until today, is a history of massacres and arsons against the Palestinians and Arabs, who are meant to be the brothers of Abd Al-Hamid Hakim. However, he and his ilk, like his boss Eshki, are Arabic-speaking extremist Zionists. His denial of facts – that [even] the Israeli authors, thinkers, and political and cultural research institutes acknowledge – is a crime in itself, for which he and his ilk of bribe-takers and Israeli and CIA agents will not be forgiven.”