Palestinian Authority protesters pummeled visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird with eggs late Sunday morning as he left a meeting with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah.
Baird was not injured.
He is meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Sunday afternoon. Baird will not visit the Temple Mount or the Western Wall.
Israel Radio that the egg-throwing protest appeared to be organized and that PA soldiers were at the scene.
The demonstration was organized by the youth movement of the Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Protesters held signs reading: “Baird you are not welcome in Palestine.”
Canada is opposed to the recent Palestinian bid to pursue war crime charges again
Palestinian Authority senior official and former “peace process” negotiator Saeb Erekat wrote in the Toronto Globe & Mail Friday, “The spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird asked me to apologize to the Israeli government, citing the equivalency I drew between the terror of the self-styled ‘Islamic State’ and that of Israeli settlers who under the banner of a ‘Jewish State,’ and with the backing of their government, have been in a campaign of terror that include the burning of mosques and churches, the destruction of olive groves and the brutal murder of Palestinian civilians.
“After spending the past few years listening to Mr. Baird going out of his way to legitimize the banality and brutality of a 50-year-old Israeli occupation, I tell Mr. Baird: enough. If there is anyone that has to apologize, it is Mr. Baird himself.
“He should first apologize to his own citizenry, many of whom are God-loving Jews, Christians and Muslims who would never condone nor cheer for an Israeli government that stretches support to Israeli settlers who attack churches and mosques.
“Mr. Baird should apologize for his active encouragement of Israel’s brute and ugly occupation and its apartheid policies.”
Erekat’s op-ed was a perfect invitation for protesters to target Baird, whom he singled out as spokesman for Israel.
When the UN in 2012 upgraded Palestine’s status from an observer entity to an observer state, it was not the Israeli Foreign Minister who traveled to New York in order to defend Israel’s position; unfortunately, it was Mr. Baird.
Though his efforts were and remain largely ineffective (the resolution passed with an overwhelming majority of 138, with only 9 voting against), they came as a slap in the face to Palestinian efforts. Canada also lobbied against our UNESCO membership….
Last November, Canada was one of six countries voting against several UN resolutions requesting an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestine…
Mr. Baird should apologize: It’s never too late!