Palestinian Journalist Nasser Laham: Instead of Sending Palestinian Children to Die, Arabs Should Respond to Trump’s Declaration with Significant Diplomatic Means
Dr. Nasser Laham, Editor-in-Chief of the Palestinian Maan News Agency, said in the buildup to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital that instead of their citizens taking to the streets in demonstrations, Arab countries should require visas from American tourists. "Let's require any American who wants to come to Palestine - even Kushner - to obtain a visa," he said. His remarks were posted online by the Maan News network on December 5.
Dr. Nasser Al-Laham: Do we really want to send our children to the streets [to demonstrate], so that 10,000 of them will become martyrs, and 30,000 will be wounded and become crippled? And then, when the American ambassador comes over, we say: "Hi sir, how are you? Welcome... Negotiations... Peace..." If this is our expected conduct, we don't want this.
On my way to the studio, people asked me: "Is the PA really going to boycott the U.S. and Israel?" The citizens are asking the right question. The PA officials shouldn't get angry about this, because we are talking about our children, no less. We are talking about them taking to the streets, not about the children of the [PA] officials. I am asking questions about the price in blood.
If [the Arab leaders] truly love Jerusalem, they should expel the American and Israeli ambassadors. Just like Khrushchev banged his shoe on the table [at the U.N.], I wish there was a single Arab leader man enough to bang his shoe... or even better, a female [Arab] leader who would bang a shoe on the table, and say to the American ambassador: "Get out!" If only we could see something honorable from an Arab country before we die... If a single Arab country would expel... forget expel - demand a visa from American tourists... Instead of us being humiliated at the gates of the U.S. embassy when obtaining a visa, let [the Americans] obtain a visa before they enter Arab countries. That is what Brasil, Venezuela, Cuba, and any self-respecting country does. Let's require any American who wants to come to Palestine - even Kushner - to obtain a visa. Didn't they make President [Abbas] obtain a visa? Don't we stand in line to obtain a visa before we go to [the U.S.]? So at the very least, let Kushner obtain a visa from [PA FM] Riyad Al-Maliki. But to send the children to the streets to die - that would be the same old thing again. It would be toying with their lives.