Canadian envoy lauds Arab terrorist, Arafat ally

Canada’s representative to the Palestinian Authority praises official convicted of terror attacks against Israelis, calling him a “great friend.”

By World Israel News Staff

A Canadian envoy came under fire late last week after she praised a Palestinian Authority official jailed for terror attacks against Israelis.

Robin Wettlaufer, the Canadian representative to the Palestinian Authority, met recently with Jibril Rajoub, Secretary-General of the ruling Fatah party and chief of the Palestinian Football Association and Palestine Olympic Committee.

On Thursday, following the meeting, Wettlaufer’s office tweeted a photograph of the two sitting in front of a Palestine Liberation Organization flag and a picture of the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat.

In the tweet, Wettlaufer lauded Rajoub as a “great friend of Canada,” saying the two had a “fascinating discussion.”

Wettlaufer’s office later deleted the tweet.

A day later, however, Canadian lawmakers objected to the post, noting Rajoub’s history of terrorism and incitement against Israel.

Jailed in 1968 for allegedly aiding the escape of Egyptian officers, Rajoub was arrested again in 1970 and sentenced to life in prison for a grenade attack on an IDF bus outside of Hebron.

After being freed in exchange for Israeli hostages in 1985, Rajoub was arrested three more times in the 1980s for his involvement with the PLO, before being expelled in 1988.

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A close ally of Yasser Arafat within Fatah, Rajoub was tapped to lead the Palestinian Authority’s internal security force after the Oslo Accords, before Arafat appointed him national security advisor in 2003.

Three Canadian lawmakers lambasted Wettlaufer for the tweet, including Liberal MPs Ya’ara Saks and Anthony Housefather.

“Myself and Housefather vehemently object to Jibril Rajoub being described as friend of Canada,” Saks tweeted Friday as part of a joint statement. “He has been charged with glorifying terrorism, and is guilty of inciting hatred and violence against Israelis by politicizing sport. He does not share our values as Canadians.”

Melissa Lantsman, a Conservative MP, called on Foreign Minister Melanie Joly to respond to Wettlaufer’s tweet.

“Jibril Rajoub has been convicted of committing multiple terrorist attacks. He uses sports to incite hatred, FIFA agrees. A great friend? Will you denounce this?”

Marvin Rotrand, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, said the tweet’s removal suggests Wettlaufer’s office had already been made aware of Rajoub’s history even prior to the backlash.