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PA daily “clarifies” its op-ed policy, following PMW's exposure of op-ed demonizing US presidential envoy as a “mongoloid”

Headline: “Press release”
      “In response to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s criticism of an article by one of the columnists, which was published in the [official PA] daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and in which the writer commented on American Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt’s statements, it is important to the daily to clarify that it respects freedom of opinion and expression, which is anchored in Palestinian basic law, and is committed to it, and that this freedom is not banned or subjected to censorship. Since we are a democratic state, freedom of opinion and expression remains one of the pillars of [the state’s] political system, and one of its means of struggle for freedom and independence.
At the same time, we emphasize that we will continue to stand against the political differences of opinion being made personal, and against personal harm to the sides in the disagreement. For this reason, and out of a commitment to this moral and professional position, we do not agree that freedom of opinion be used for personal harm against someone who has a different opinion through expressions and descriptions that our tolerant religion and moral, national, and humane culture oppose.
However, we must take this opportunity to note that the op-eds in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida only express the opinions of their writers, while only Al-Hayat Al-Jadida editorials, which are written by the editor in chief, express the daily’s worldview and opinion on the matters it deals with.
As for regard for human life, our commitment to which [US Ambassador to Israel] Friedman cast doubt upon, Palestinian civil law has recognized the human value of this life in all of its conditions that require any treatment, defense, and regard.
It remains for us to emphasize that this regard, in the general human moral system, requires the fair treatment of the just affairs of the peoples – whoever they are – for the sake of authenticity. For this reason we condemn Friedman and Greenblatt’s positions and the hostile policy that the American administration is implementing against our national cause and its legitimate and sole representative – the PLO – due to it being a policy that does not attribute importance to the Palestinian people, while acting against their just aspirations and legitimate rights.”
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In response to an op-ed in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, a regular columnist for the daily, which called US President Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt a “mongoloid,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman wrote on his Twitter account: “In today’s issue of Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official daily of the PA, Jason Greenblatt is criticized as a ‘Mongoloid’ & acting as if he has Downs Syndrome. I am disgusted —not for Jason (he’s got broad shoulders) — but by this utter disregard for the value of every human life.”

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