During a breakfast briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday, Palestinian Ambassador to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat reiterated his call to create a Jew-free Palestinian state.
“Well, I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future,” he said when asked by The Daily Caller if he could imagine a Jew being elected mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah in a future independent Palestinian state. “But after the experience of 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interests of the two peoples to be separated first.”
Last year, Areikat made a similar statement during an interview with Tablet magazine. Asked whether it would be neccessary to transfer and remove “every Jew” from a future Palestinian state, Areikat responded “absolutely.”
“I’m not saying to transfer every Jew, I’m saying transfer Jews who, after an agreement with Israel, fall under the jurisdiction of a Palestinian state,” he said then. “I think this is a very necessary step, before we can allow the two states to somehow develop their separate national identities, and then maybe open up the doors for all kinds of cultural, social, political, economic exchanges, that freedom of movement of both citizens of Israelis and Palestinians from one area to another. You know you have to think of the day after.”
Asked after the Tuesday breakfast to clarify if he was truly calling for a Jew-free state, Areikat said that perhaps one day in the future things will be different.
“Listen, again, we have nothing against Jews. This is a political conflict,” he explained. “Once the political issues our resolved, every Palestinian should be welcomed in Israel. Every Israeli should be welcomed in Palestine. But under the current circumstances — an occupation power occupying a people against their will — this is something we are trying to end.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is planning on brining the issue of Palestinian statehood to the U.N. next week. President Obama has pledged to veto the effort if Abbas seeks full recognition from the U.N. Security Council. The Palestinians could also seek to elevate their status to a non-voting observer state through a vote of the U.N. General Assembly where the U.S. does not wield a veto.