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Jibril Rajoub
photo by Rhonda Spivak


by Rhonda Spivak June 3, 2018


Jibril Rajoub,  whom I have met, is a  possible successor to current Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.When I heard Rajoub, who spent 17 years in an Israeli jail, speak at an event in East Jerusalem he suggested that the Palestinians ought to get a state even before they had shown on the ground that they could and would control terrorism. (In other words the Palestinians should get  a state even though the Israeli side would not get personal security in return. Rajoub's exact words are given at the end of this article).
Journalist Tuvia Tenenbom reported on his true encounters  with  Rajoub, who is a former head of the Palestinian Preventative Security forces in his terrific  eye opening book "Catch The Jew", published in 2015 (which I highly recommend reading). Amazingly, Tenenbom who is a German Jew was able to become friendly with Rajoub and penetrated his inner circles because Rajoub did not know Tenenbom was Jewish, and believed that he was simply a sympathetic German journalist. Rajoub even gave Tenenbom a nickname, Abu Ali, which is the name in Arabic used for Adolf Hitler. When Tenenbaum was at Jibril's home where dinner was served, there were several references made by Palestinians about the Jews and Nazi Germany. One of the dinner guests, who is in Rajoub's inner circle said 'it would have been very good if Rommel succeeded,' referring to Nazi Germany's attempt in WWII to enter Palestine. "We would have had all the land,' he says since no Jew would have survived." ( Catch The Jew, p 214)
 Another of Rajoub's Palestinian dinner guest said "My blood is German,"  Tenenbom wrote. "All of us, all Palestinians are German," the guest said (at p 214 Catch The Jew).
Tenenbom also reported in a very compelling part of  "Catch The Jew" that Rajoub suggested to him  that the real reason European's are so sympthetic to Palestinian claims, is that they know that if they aren't ,Palestinians will commit terror attacks ( such as  hijacking planes  as they used to do) in European capitals. Tenenbom asked Rajoub why a country like Norway would even care what's going on in Israel and the PA territories. Rajoub responded that Europe wants to protect itself and its citizens. Rajoub elaborated, "How many terror attacks happened in Europe, even in Germany, as a result of this conflict? how many? how many planes were hijacked? How many people were killed. Excuse me!" (p 177 Catch The Jew ). Tennenbom wrote "It is because of Europe's involvement in the Middle East, he [Rajoub] teaches me that "blood shedding is no longer used to assure my national aspirations." (p 177-178 Catch The Jew) Tenenbaum continues "In short: Palestinians now know that the world is not against them and so they don't blow up planes in mid-flight."
To make sure he understood Rajoub correctly Tenenbom asked Raboub whether he has just told him that terror would engulf Europe if it did not give money to the NGOs supporting Palestinians. Tenonbom wrote, "He [Rajoub] realizes that he might have gone too far and he tries to correct himself: 'I think', he switches mode, "that they are sympathizing with the suffering of Palestinians."
Readers of Tenenbom's book get to see a very uncensored behind the scenes view of Jabril Rajoub, which is one of the reasons I so highly recommend the book.

*Editor's note: Here is what I wrote after hearing Rajoub speak in 2008:


Rajoub  said that he thinks that the Israeli condition of “putting security first has failed all of the time”, and it must take into consideration the Palestinian side’s need for a state even before the PA controls terrorism. “I don’t think that security first can be the issue while on the ground you are undermining everything.”


When asked about Rajoub’s comments suggesting that Palestinians ought to be granted a state before the PA controls Palestinian terrorism against Israel, Colette Avital [ a left wing Israeli] said, "No I don’t agree with it [Rajoub’s view]. If you have security for both sides, then confidence will follow, but not if you have it for one side, and not the other side. Both sides must have security [before proceeding forward].”
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.