Saeb Erekat posted a tweet on Monday, criticizing the ‘Deal of the Century’ put together by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and special adviser. Though Palestinian criticism of the proposal is expected, Erekat’s Biblical twist was not.
“They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14 . That is exactly what Kushner is doing to the Palestinian people .
— Dr. Saeb Erakat الدكتور صائب عريقات (@ErakatSaeb) February 3, 2020
It should be noted that Erekat’s translation of the Bible misses the nuances that provide a more precise understanding of the Hebrew text. The Israel Bible translates that verse as follows:
They offer healing offhand For the wounds of My people, Saying, “All is well, all is well,” When nothing is well. Jeremiah 6:14
It is also important to note that ‘my people’ referred to by Jeremiah are, in fact, the Jews and not the Palestinians, as Erekat seems to be claiming.
Erekat is a senior Palestinian politician who negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel and remained chief negotiator from 1995 until May 2003, when he resigned in protest from the Palestinian government. He later reconciled with the party and was reappointed to the post in September 2003. Erekat is one of the more prominent Palestinian spokespeople in the Western media
Though Erekat is a Muslim, his reference to Jeremiah is not heretical as Islam has replacement theology as one of its basic tenets and considers all the characters from the Torah and the New Testament to be Muslim. Though Jeremiah is not explicitly mentioned in the Koran, he is considered by Islam to be a Muslim.
Erekat, even more than other Palestinian politicians, cannot keep his Biblical references or historical timelines straight. He has referred to Jesus, the Christian religious figure who was co-opted by Islam, as the “the first Martyr, the first Palestinian, Jesus.”
In 2014, he claimed to be “the proud son of the Canaanites who were there 5,500 years before Joshua bin Nun burned down the town of Jericho.” This contradicts his description of his family tree on his Facebook page in which he states that his family is “part of the Al-Huwaytat tribe, which is one of the largest Hashemite tribes, and their presence extends from the Arabian Peninsula to Jordan, then the occupied Palestinian territories to Gaza and Egypt… Al-Huwaytat is one of the Jamamizahs from the Al-Ashraf Bani Al-Hussein who migrated from Medina to Badia Al-Sham and settled around Aqaba.”
It should also be noted that most Biblical scholars and archaeologists place Biblical Joshua at around 3,300 years ago.
Erekat also claimed that the IDF carried out a “massacre of perhaps 500 Palestinians” in Jenin in Apil 2002. The IDF entered the town after it served as a launch site for numerous terrorist attacks against both Israeli civilians and Israeli towns and villages in the area. Official totals from Palestinian and Israeli sources confirmed between 52 and 54 Palestinians, mostly gunmen, and 23 IDF soldiers were killed in the fighting. Erekat never rescinded this claim.