Ashrawi, Gush Shalom: Tributes to Saeb Erekat


The straightforward diplomat behind Arafat and Abbas — in memoriam Saeb Erekat

by Adam Keller – Gush Shalom (the Israeli Peace Bloc)

My first contact with Saeb Erekat was when he was not yet in politics – as a lecturer at Al-Najah University.

When I was invited to a university ceremony which I could not attend, and I called him to express my regret.

At the later occasions where I went as part of a Gush Shalom delegation to meet President Arafat, and still later President Abbas, Dr. Saeb Erekat was always there at the President`s side.

In conversations with him he was strikingly open and straightforward.

Also in more official appearances he was an unlikely diplomat who conveyed confidence, courage and emotion, and that he is interested in doing business with those who had something real to offer.

The Trump Middle East approach made him very bitter.

That he died days after Trump`s demise, of which he probably was not aware, is intensely sad.

He will be missed in whatever hopeful turn to come.

May the memory of his devotion be a consolation for his family and friends.


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