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Erekat: Netanyahu's speech victimizes criminal, blames victim

Sept. 28, 2018 11:29 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 28, 2018 2:54 P.M.)
NEW YORK (Ma'an) -- Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said, on Thursday, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the United Nations General Assembly victimizes the criminal and blames the victim.

Erekat added that "Netanyahu's speech is a combination of old and well-known talking points that conclude on victimizing the criminal and blaming the victim."

"His speech further exposes Israel's systematic denial of our right to exist, to live in freedom and to celebrate our national identity."

Erekat stressed that the reality in Palestine is "a manifestation of what Israel is: a colonial- apartheid state."

"Despite the oppression, racism and daily violence, the proud and resilient people of Palestine will continue to remain steadfast and to believe in the achievement of our inalienable rights, to live in freedom and in dignity. For the Israeli government, not only the issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees are off the table, but also Palestine's very existence."

During his speech at UNGA, Netanyahu said "Moments ago, President Abbas outrageously said that Israel's nation-state law proves that Israel is a racist, apartheid state."

Netanyahu was referring to the newly approved Nationality Law, which enshrines the status of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

"President Abbas, you should know better. You wrote a dissertation denying the Holocaust. Your Palestinian Authority imposes death sentences on Palestinians for selling land to Jews. Did you hear that? If a Jew buys an apartment, a piece of land anywhere in the Palestinian territories, the Palestinian who sold him that land is executed. That's what the law says."

Netanyahu also mentioned stipends that the Palestinian Authority pays to the families of killed Palestinians and Palestinian prisoners, saying "President Abbas, you proudly pay Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews. In fact, the more they slay, the more you pay. That's in their law too. And you condemn Israel's morality? You call Israel racist?"

In July, the Israeli Knesset approved a law, by an overwhelming majority, which deducts funds transferred to the PA by the amount paid to Palestinian prisoners and their families.

Netanyahu said "This is not the way to peace. This is not the way to achieve the peace we all want and need and to which Israel remain committed. This body should not be applauding the head of a regime that pays terrorists. The UN should condemn such a despicable policy."

"Some believe that Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic. This is false. Israel is both, and Israel will always remain both."

He added that Israel is a "vibrant democracy, where all its citizens-Jews and non-Jews alike-enjoy equal individual rights, and these rights are guaranteed by law."

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