“Moderate” Palestinian Official Says Palestine Territory Spans from the “River to the Sea”

Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub

The senior Palestinian official who several weeks ago said that if the Palestinians had a nuclear bomb they would have already nuked Israel now says all of Israel is “occupied” territory.

Jibril Rajoub is a member of the Palestinian Fatah Central Committee – the leading party in the PLO – and is frequently referred to as a “moderate” Palestinian official. He’s even been featured in a Hebrew video promoting the peace process between the sides.

Rajoub now suggests in a telephone interview to a Qatari television station that Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, saying he considers all of that area to be “occupied lands.” This includes all of the territory in Israel, including all of Jerusalem, which Israel has declared as its capital, all of Tel Aviv, where the United States embassy sits, all of Haifa and Nazareth in the north, Beersheba and Eilat in the south. Rajoub’s “occupied lands” also covers Hamas-ruled Gaza from which Israel withdrew in 2005.

Though the renewed negotiations being promoted aggressively by Secretary of State John Kerry is predicated on the idea of a two state solution – a state for Israelis and a state for Palestinians — this “moderate” senior official’s description of what he believes to be the land of Palestine leaves no room for Israel.

Kerry’s mission is also based on the premise that the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas is the more moderate Palestinian leadership which, unlike Hamas, would be willing to give up some of the dream of greater Palestine in exchange for peaceful relations with its Jewish neighbor. But if senior official Rajoub is promoting a river-to-the-sea dream, it’s unclear how the Palestinian Authority’s negotiating position differs from Hamas, for which getting rid of Israel is an openly stated position.

The video was discovered and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a Jerusalem-based research organization that tracks anti-Israel incitement in the official Palestinian media. Here is PMW’s transcript of the clip where Rajoub – who also chairs the Palestinian Football [Soccer] Association and heads the Palestinian Olympic Committee – discussed an upcoming visit by Barcelona’s soccer team. He also took the opportunity to bash Israel:

TV host: “Mr. Jibril, does the visit of Barcelona’s [football] team include a visit to the occupied lands?”
Rajoub: “They are coming to the occupied lands. All of Palestine – from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea (i.e., all of Israel) – it’s all occupied.”
TV host: “I mean the Israeli occupied lands.”
Rajoub: “You mean [occupied in] 1948 (i.e., Israel’s establishment)?”
TV host: “Yes.”
Rajoub: “On August 3 [2013] they are coming to us. Where they go after that – I’m not responsible for them… There was a stupid Israeli attempt to do something (a sports activity) together. Of course, they try to use Barcelona as a fig leaf to hide their crimes against the Palestinian sports. ”

[Al-Kass Sports Channel (Qatar), June 2, 2013]

In April, Rajoub told Lebanese television that if the Palestinians had a nuclear weapon they would have used it “this very morning” against Israel, as TheBlaze reported last month.

As head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, Rajoub also opposed holding a moment of silence during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony in memory of Israeli athletes slain by Palestinian terrorist in the 1972 Munich Olympics. “Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism,” Rajoub said last year.

To further explore the significance of Rajoub’s river-to-the-sea position, TheBlaze spoke with Middle East analyst Barry Rubin of the research center, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA). Rubin says, “Rajoub is one of the most moderate people in the Palestinian Authority. He’s trying to shore up his credentials, and he knows this is going to help his career, not hurt his career.”

“This is what you have to say to be successful therefore it shows more deeply what the leadership of Fatah think and therefore in the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

Providing further evidence he wants Palestinians to know his opinion, Rajoub posted the interview on his Facebook page, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

Here is the video of the interview excerpt courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch: