Why is the French government not condemning Saeb Erekat and the PA for lying about the content of a private diplomatic meeting between Erekat and the French Consul-General to the PA? Since it was Erekat/the PA who lied about the content of the meeting, according to the French consulate, why is it criticizing Palestinian Media Watch’s “allegations” when in fact they were Saeb Erekat’s “allegations” that PMW merely exposed?
Last week PMW informed French officials of the PA report about a meeting between PLO Executive Committee Secretary and Chief Negotiator Erekat and the French Consul General René Troccaz. Erekat told the official PA daily that France had adopted the PA positions including calling for the release of terrorist mass murderers and calling for millions of refugees to flood Israel.
René Troccaz, according to the PA daily, said:
“The realization of the independence of the State of Palestine whose capital is East Jerusalem within the 1967 borders, the resolution of... the issue of the refugees based on [UN] Resolution 194 and the release of the prisoners.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 3, 2020]
When PMW turned to the French embassy in Israel asking why France supported these positions, the Consul-General released a press statement denying that this was what was said to Erekat. But incredibly, the French did not criticize Erekat and the PA for lying about what happened at the private meeting, rather they only challenged PMW for exposing the lie:
"Palestinian Media Watch's website published an article claiming that the French consul General in Jerusalem called for the release of Palestinian prisoners during a meeting with the Secretary General of the PLO executive committee Saeb Erekat. The French Consulate General in Jerusalem categorically denies these allegations. The consul-general has never used the words attributed to him in this article. France’s position is public and well-known."
Since it was the PA daily that published the lies and PMW merely exposed them, the French Consulate’s ire was misdirected. Also significantly, the French Consulate only denied that it seeks freedom for terrorists but it did not deny that it adopted all the other PA demands, including the desire to flood Israel with refugees based on UN 194.
Finally, if the PA lied about the content of a diplomatic meeting, one would expect an official French complaint to Erekat and a demand that the PA daily publish a clear correction. No such demand has been publicized and no correction has appeared in the PA daily.