Both the European Jewish Congress (EJC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on European leaders to condemn the speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the European Parliament in which he claimed that Israeli rabbis called to poison Palestinian water and that ‘’global terrorism will disappear once the occupation ends.’’
They also criticised Abbas’ refusal to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Brussels.
For ADL, which decried ‘’conspiratorial anti-Israel allegations’’ by Abbas, the charges are “reminiscent of age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes” and belie his claim that his “hands are extended in peace.”
EJC President Moshe Kantor said “it is unconscionable that a foreign leader proudly states a blood libel in the European Parliament and he receives a standing ovation, ” as he referred to the unsubstantiated comment about Israel rabbis which was a hoax spread across Arab media.
“If a far-Right politician would have made similar comments they would have been correctly discredited, but Abbas is feted like a hero and this double-standard allows him to evade scrutiny in the international arena and the negotiations table,” he said.
“Furthermore, his avoidance of an EU-backed meeting with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin demonstrates once again that he remains one of the greatest obstacles between a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Both Rivlin and Abbas were in Brussels this week and European leaders had tried to broker a meeting between the two, which Abbas refused to attend while Rivlin accepted.
“Additionally, Abbas’ blaming Israel for global terrorism sets off dog whistles for anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists around the world,” Kantor said. “In one short speech, Abbas reminded the world that he has no interest in peace, continues to incite against Jews and Israel and uses the understandable fear of terrorism to rail against Israel and score political points.”
ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt stated : ‘’resident Abbas reportedly came to Europe to talk peace. Instead, he interspersed claims of an interest in reconciliation with Israel with base allegations against the Jewish state, which are reminiscent of age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes. Unfortunately, conspiratorial incitement by the Palestinian Authority is not new. His charges of an Israeli effort to poison Palestinian water, and claims of Israel serving as the root of terrorism worldwide, are particularly disturbing and significant.’’
He added, ‘’As the international community, particularly European leadership, grows increasingly active in trying to promote an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, they must forcefully and publicly reject such offensive and dangerous incitement. How can Israel see Europe as an honest broker when its elected officials applaud a speech laden with lies and mischaracterizations?’’
‘’Such statements, along with his rejection of an invitation to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin while in Brussels, make Abbas’ condemnations of terrorism and stated interest in peace disingenuous.’’
‘’It is sad to think that Abbas would rather take the easy route and deliver an incendiary speech that consigns the region to further conflict rather than sit down with Israeli leadership to make the hard decisions of working toward a two-state solution that actually could bring peace to his people and the region.’’