Saeb Erekat isn’t telling the truth: Guardian edition

Saeb Erekat is a PLO executive committee member, head of the higher national committee for the International Criminal Court and chief Palestinian negotiator. He’s also well-known for saying things that simply are not true.


His latest struggle with truth-telling comes in an op-ed published at the Guardian (What Palestine needs is for Europe to honor its own agreements, June 28)

In the second paragraph, Erekat writes:

Internationally, it is often forgotten that the two-state solution is built on a huge concession of Palestinian land: 78% of what was Palestine before the creation of Israel in 1948.


Israel in fact declared independence in 1948 only over the land allotted to it by the United Nations – “about 10 percent of historic [British Mandate] Palestine, or 55 percent of Palestine without TransJordan”.

Moreover, the 78% figure Erekat is citing refers to the 1949 armistice lines – the percentage of historic [British Mandate] Palestine (without TransJordan) which Israel controlled after the 1948-49 war.

But, of course Erekat’s biggest deception is his suggestion that there was an independent state of Palestine.  

In fact, there never was such a state at any time in history.  

Though the Jews accepted the UN partition plan, the Arabs (and Palestinian Arab leaders) rejected it, and launched a war of annihilation against the nascent Jewish state.  If the Arabs had accepted the partition plan, the state of Palestine would – like Israel – be 67 years old.

For Erekat to claim that accepting a two-state solution roughly along pre-1967 lines represents a concession of Palestinian land is a deception of the highest order. 

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