Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator and a global leader in the effort to boycott Israel, is reported to be on a waiting list for a lung transplant in Israel.
Israel’s Ynetnews reports that Erekat suffers from pulmonary fibrosis and “is on the waiting list for a lung transplant in Israel or the United States.” Erect, 62, has reportedly already begun medical treatment in Israel, but his condition is so bad that he will need a lung transplant to survive.
The irony is rich. Erekat is one of the leading proponents of the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate Israel internationally. BDS hopes that treating Israel like apartheid South Africa will force it to make concessions at the negotiating table — or, like the former South African regime, to collapse. On campuses throughout the U.S., and in legislatures across Europe, BDS advocates inveigh against any connections with Israel.
Earlier this year, Erekat urged the European Union to boycott goods and services produced by Israel in the West Bank (i.e. Judea and Samaria). “We are at a crucial moment where concrete measures, rather than recycled statements, are the only way to move forward,” he said at the time, according to the Times of Israel. In 2016, he published an op-ed in Newsweek complaining that EU officials had attended two anti-BDS events.
Erekat also has a long history of demonizing the State of Israel. In the spring of 2002, he falsely claimed that Israel had killed 500 people in the Palestinian town of Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield, Israel’s effort to destroy terrorist infrastructure after a suicide bombing killed 29 Israelis during a Passover seder. The UN found Erekat’s claim false — but only months later, after incendiary claims of a “Jenin massacre” had spread across the world.
Israel frequently offers medical treatment to its enemies, and has provided medical assistance to Syrians wounded in the ongoing civil war in that country. But the spectacle of Israeli doctors taking care of a man who would have others boycott the country, and who has done so much to spread vile anti-Israel hatred, is noteworthy.
Theoretically, a lung could be provided by a Jewish Israeli donor to save Erekat’s life: doctors in Israel do not discriminate.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.