PLO official defends booklet for PA students that promotes Abbas' ideals as role-model for youth
Headline: "In response to what was said about the booklet Our President – A Role-Model For Us – Erekat: Read the book and your judgment will be stronger and more logical"
"PLO Executive Committee Secretary [and Fatah Central Committee member] Saeb Erekat asked that everyone who considered the work done by the 10th and 11th grade female students in the El-Bireh School for Girls in publishing the booklet ‘Our President – A Role-Model For Us’ to be hypocrisy, flattery, and a cult of personality and demanded to gather the booklets, read it before they judge it.
Erekat said in a statement yesterday [May 11, 2019]: '[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas has written dozens of books, and the female students have studied and summarized 19 of them including: America – the Axis of Evil, The Religious and Racial Polarization in Israel, The Other Side: The Connections Between Nazism and Zionism, The Oslo Path, Achievements and Obstacles, The Agreement in the Eyes of the Opposition, Israel and Racist South Africa, The Zionist Movement in Lenin's Writings, and other books.'
Erekat added that the students have explained in the booklet that President Mahmoud Abbas' writings are confirmation and proof of the Palestinian people’s legitimate national rights, and primarily its right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital in the borders of June 4, 1967, and the right of return on the basis of UN Resolution 194 (see note below –Ed.). In addition to this, [the writings] present scientific and historical proof that explain the falseness of the Zionist and Western claims, which exploit religion and distort the historical facts, while brother Mahmoud Abbas proves the Arab-Palestinian right to Palestine from a historical, religious, cultural, financial, and human perspective.
He added: 'Afterwards, the students prepared this booklet and sought to follow the path presented by President Mahmoud Abbas, and adhere to our legitimate national rights and principles, and not to give up on them…
Our President – A Role-Model For Us is not a cult of personality, corruption, or flattery of leaders, and it is not hypocrisy to obtain benefit, but rather it is adherence and following the path of the principles and rights that President Mahmoud Abbas – and before him the eternal Martyr [former PLO Chairman and PA President] Yasser Arafat and the Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded – have dedicated themselves to protecting and defending. And I only ask that they read the booklet, which was prepared by 10th and 11th grade students without anyone's involvement; and the participation of a number of officials is nothing but presence at the launch of the booklet and explanation of its content. It is worth mentioning that the booklet is the students' initiative, and is not approved as part of the curricula.'
Erekat said: 'Palestine is a wellspring of freedom, honor, and resolve, and not a country in which leaders are flattered… The school has not established a library or research center named after President Mahmoud Abbas as they do in America and Europe, but rather this is an initiative to preserve, protect, and adhere to our historical and national rights… as they are expressed in the writings of brother Mahmoud Abbas. This is an admirable initiative by the students.'"
Saeb Erekat also holds the position of PLO Chief Negotiator.
UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."
Yasser Arafat – Founder of Fatah and former chairman of the PLO and PA. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Arafat was behind numerous terror attacks against Israelis. Although he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" after signing the Oslo Accords peace agreement, Arafat launched a 5-year terror campaign - the second Intifada (2000-2005) – in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Arafat died of an illness in 2004.