24 Nov, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER
  • Even visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque is presented as unacceptable “normalization”

The PA has been just as adamant about not allowing any normalization with Israel as the animals in Orwell’s Animal Farm were about the need for animals to stick together against humans who were “the only real enemy.” But as happened in Orwell’s classic when the pigs decided they were superior and granted themselves rights that they refused the other “equal” animals, so too PA leaders are happy to have normal relations with Israel when it comes to themselves, while refusing and even condemning ordinary Palestinians for having any normalization with Israelis at all. Indeed, in the PA – as on Orwell’s farm – “some are more equal than others.”

Despite the PA’s cessation of all cooperation with Israel and nullification of all agreements, and its refusal to accept over 3 billion shekels that Israel has collected in tax money on its behalf – thereby bringing immense suffering to millions of Palestinians – the PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat is able to enjoy “normal” relations with Israel, choosing an Israeli hospital for his current treatment for the coronavirus disease.

In response to visitors from the UAE and Bahrain to the Al-Aqsa Mosque who arrived via Israel rather than through the PA as a result of the recent peace agreements, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh complained that it was “very unfortunate” that the Arab delegations had entered “through the Israeli gate.”

Hypocritically, Shtayyeh said this the day after the PA had let Erekat enter through the Israeli hospital gate! That wasn’t apparently “unfortunate” at all:

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: “One enters the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque through the gate of its owners, and not through the gate of the occupation. It is very unfortunate that a number of Arab delegations are entering through the Israeli gate, at a time when the entry by worshippers to the mosque is prevented.”

[Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, Oct. 19, 2020]

Similarly, Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi of Abbas’ Fatah Movement complained that the Arab delegations had not entered “through the true gate, which is Palestine,” and stated that entering “through the gate of Tel Aviv contradicts reason and is unnatural.”

However, for the PA it apparently seems both reasonable and natural that Erekat should get treatment in an Israeli hospital. That isn’t considered “an attack on the Palestinian people”:

“Fatah Movement Revolutionary Council member and [official] Fatah Spokesperson Osama Al-Qawasmi said: ‘We have invited and still invite the Arabs and Muslims to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the true gate, which is Palestine… Al-Qawasmi added that visiting the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem through the gate of Tel Aviv contradicts reason and is unnatural. He added that this constitutes direct support for Israel and its false narrative; normalization with the entity that stole Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and Palestine; and an attack on our Palestinian people.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 20, 2020]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented this PA double standard in the past when top PA/Fatah official Jibril Rajoub enjoyed the PA’s Animal Farm and received medical treatment in Israel at a time when the PA had announced it had ended all medical treatment for Palestinians in Israel and was refusing even transit permits for Palestinian children from Gaza being treated for cancer in Israeli hospitals.

Fatah also posted this cartoon mocking the visitors from the UAE and Bahrain to the Al-Aqsa Mosque who entered through Israel:

Persian Gulf Arabs on their way to the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem having arrived via Israel, symbolized by a massive army boot with a Star of David on it, which has “Welcome” written on it in English.

Posted text: “A visit by a delegation from the [Persian] Gulf to the Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the occupation soldiers.
#Normalization_is_treason”
Text on cartoon: “A visit by a delegation from the [Persian] Gulf to the Al-Aqsa Mosque”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, Oct. 19, 2020]

The following are longer excerpts of the statements above:

Headline: “Al-Qawasmi: We heartily welcome worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque [who enter] through the gate of Palestine, not of Tel Aviv”
“Fatah Movement Revolutionary Council member and [official] Fatah Spokesperson Osama Al-Qawasmi said: ‘We have invited and still invite the Arabs and Muslims to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the true gate, which is Palestine, because this constitutes support for our cause, Jerusalem’s Arab identity, and its status in the eyes of all the Muslims.’
In a statement yesterday [Oct. 19, 2020], Al-Qawasmi added that visiting the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem through the gate of Tel Aviv contradicts reason and is unnatural. He added that this constitutes direct support for Israel and its false narrative; normalization with the entity that stole Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and Palestine; and an attack on our Palestinian people.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 20, 2020]

Video posted on the Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh; the video shows Shtayyeh’s speech at a PA government meeting on the morning of Oct. 19, 2020
Video:

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: “The Kingdom of Bahrain’s signing an agreement yesterday [Oct. 18, 2020] to establish full diplomatic relations with the occupation state gives a free prize to this occupation (see note below –Ed.). It whets [the occupation’s] appetite to gnaw away and annex additional territories and establish additional colonies, and it is increasing the challenges that the Palestinian people is dealing with in order to be redeemed, to be liberated, and to establish its independent Palestinian state. It is unfortunate that some of the [Arab] brothers are no longer aiding us against the occupation, which is harming our people, our land, and our religion…
One enters the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque through the gate of its owners, and not through the gate of the occupation. It is very unfortunate that a number of Arab delegations are entering through the Israeli gate, at a time when the entry by worshippers to the mosque is prevented.”

[Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, Oct. 19, 2020]

Reprinted with author’s permission from Palestinian Media Watch