PA Minister denies statement he gave to German newspaper that Jaffa would remain an Israeli city
Headline: “The [PA] minister of culture denies statements that were attributed to him on the topic of Jaffa and Gaza”
“[PA] Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif denied a number of statements attributed to him and quoted by the media outlets from a German paper (refers to his interview with the paper Frankfurter Rundschau, in which he was quoted as saying he would accept Jaffa remaining Israeli; see note below –Ed.). He emphasized that some of the words that were attributed to him in the German paper were not precise, and that some of the statements were taken out of context.
Abu Saif noted that the deceptions that were presented in the interview concern his city of Jaffa, where his family lives, and what he wrote about his memories. He emphasized that what he said was: ‘My family has lived in Jaffa for thousands of years up to this very day. We have agreed that a state will be established for us on 20% of the ancestors’ land, and despite this Israel has refused the establishment of the Palestinian state. So what does the world expect from us?’
Abu Saif emphasized that nothing at all was said in the interview that relates in any way to relinquishing Jaffa, because no one has the right to do that.
He noted that a number of internet sites have acted irresponsibly and reported [only] parts of what was said in the interview on the topic of Gaza, as a number of expressions were cut, and other expressions were taken out of context. He emphasized that what was said about Gaza was an expression of his love for it, in the framework of the paper’s question about the reason for him not leaving the Gaza Strip like other intellectuals who have left their lands, even though he was subjected to an assassination attempt, was arrested, and was subjected to abuse a number of times.
Abu Saif called on the Palestinian media outlets, those who are active in Palestine, and all those who view themselves as professional journalists to be precise when quoting any statements relating to him.”
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In an interview with the German paper Frankfurter Rundschau on May 7, 2019, PA Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif was quoted as saying he is prepared to accept Jaffa remaining Israeli as part of US President Donald Trump’s as yet unpublished peace deal, in return for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank remaining under Palestinian control. The following is a translation of the pertinent question and answer from the interview:
“Q: The US administration wants to present its peace plan, Trump’s so-called deal of the century, in June. According to everything that we have heard, a Palestinian state is not to be found in it. How will the Palestinian Authority react to this?
A: The decision will be made by [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas, to whom I’m very close. Not even Trump will change our basic principle: We, the Palestinians, will not disappear from this land. In the end, the Israelis must decide if they want to make peace with us. Otherwise they have no future here in the long term. You see, my family has lived in Jaffa for over a thousand years. I know all of my ancestors by name. I’m willing to accept that Jaffa belongs to Israel, as long as Gaza and the West Bank remain ours. Netanyahu’s government refuses this. What do you expect from me? To forego even more? We have relinquished almost 80% of our old homeland, and now we are supposed to share the rest? No! That makes no sense.” [Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany), May 7, 2019]
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