PLO Executive Cmte Member: Accepting Idea of a Jewish State Means We ‘Become Zionists,’ ‘Cannot Accept’ That

On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” PLO Executive Committee Member and head of the PLO’s Department of Culture and Information Dr. Hanan Ashrawi stated that accused the Israelis of demanding that “we have all to become Zionists suddenly, and we have to accept the idea of the Jewish state,” and added, “We cannot accept a religion for any state.”

After Ashrawi said, “We have recognized the State of Israel, in 1993 –,” host Poppy Harlow cut in that they hadn’t recognized Israel as a Jewish state,

Ashrawi responded, “Now, that’s a new precondition. Before the condition was, that the Palestinians have to recognize Israel, and have to recognize Israel’s right to exist and so on. Now when they destroy the peace process and all the talks, they introduced another precondition, is that we have all to become Zionists suddenly, and we have to accept the idea of the Jewish state, when we are desperately struggling to have, as I said the other day, an inclusive, democratic, tolerant Palestinian state. We cannot accept a religion for any state. We cannot talk about Jewish states or Islamic states or Christian states. Otherwise, you will end up having to deal with the Islamic state. We personally believe that there is no license to discriminate against any group, any ethnicity, any religion, or to give them any additional value because of their ethnicity and religion. So if you want equality, and if you want a state to be an equal among other states, then you recognize the democratic state, and that should be enough. We recognize Israel. If they want us to take that back, we will. But we’re not going to take it back just because they want us to become Zionists suddenly.”

Ashrawi also accused the Israelis of not valuing Palestinian lives and waging “state terrorism…against a captive civilian population.”

(h/t Legal Insurrection)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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