Israel slams Abbas for 'poisonous, hate-driven' speech
Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor: The people of Israel wait for a Palestinian leader who is willing to follow in the path of President Sadat. The world waits for President Abbas to speak the truth that peace can only be achieved through negotiations.
Israel Hayom Staff
Israel's U.N. Ambassador, Ron Prosor, on Thursday.
Photo credit: Reuters
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly, Thursday.
Photo credit: AP
Hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, garnering overwhelming support for his bid to gain nonmember observer state status, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shot back, saying Abbas' remarks were "not the words of a man who seeks peace."
"The world watched a poisonous, hate-driven speech, full of misleading propaganda against the Israel Defense Forces and the citizens of Israel," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
"This was a meaningless decision that won't change anything. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has clarified that no Palestinian state will be established without a deal that ensures the security of the citizens of Israel. He will not allow an Iranian terror base to exist in Judea and Samaria, in addition to the ones that already exist in Gaza and in Lebanon.
"The path to peace between Jerusalem and Ramallah passes through direct negotiations, without preconditions, not through one-sided U.N. resolutions. By going to the U.N., the Palestinians violated their agreements with Israel, and Israel will act accordingly," the statement concluded. In his speech at the UN, Abbas accused Israel of an "unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in occupied east Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement."
Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman, dismissed the U.N. decision as "meaningless."
"The remarks of the Palestinian leader tonight in New York are unfortunate. Instead of speaking the language of peace and reconciliation he came out with a litany of libelous charges against Israel and perverted historic truth. It's Israel that wants peace, it's Israel that is ready to except Palestinian statehood in the framework of peace and it is the Palestinian side that up until today refuses to except the legitimacy of the Jewish state," Regev told Reuters Television.
"I know that they are celebrating tonight in Ramallah but the truth is when the party is over and when people wake up tomorrow morning they'll see that nothing is changed and that reality on the ground remains as is. The only way forward is not meaningless theater at the United Nations; the only way forward is to have meaningful peace talks."
After the vote, Netanyahu spoke with Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor, applauding the latter's rebuttal speech at the General Assembly.
VIDEO: Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor at the General Assembly on Thursday
(Credit: United Nations WEB TV)
"You represented Israel's truth. Your speech was a speech of facts, contrary to Abbas' poisonous address," Netanyahu said.
Prosor said "Israel remains committed to peace," and that he represented "a state built in the Jewish people's ancient homeland, with its eternal capital Jerusalem as its beating heart.”
"As for the rights of Jewish people in this land, I have a simple message for those people gathered in the General Assembly today: No decision by the U.N. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel,” Prosor said. “The people of Israel wait for a Palestinian leader who is willing to follow in the path of President Sadat. The world waits for President Abbas to speak the truth that peace can only be achieved through negotiations by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. It waits for him to tell them that peace must also address Israel's security needs and end the conflict once and for all. For as long as President Abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to travel to New York for U.N. resolutions, rather than travel to Jerusalem for genuine dialogue, any hope of peace will be out of reach."
Prosor attacked Abbas for "ignoring history."
"The truth is that 65 years ago today, the United Nations voted to partition the British Mandate into two states: a Jewish state, and an Arab state,” he said.
“Two states for two peoples. Israel accepted this plan. The Palestinians and Arab nations around us rejected it and launched a war of annihilation to throw the ‘Jews into the sea.’
The truth is that from 1948 until 1967, the West Bank was ruled by Jordan, and Gaza was ruled by Egypt. The Arab states did not lift a finger to create a Palestinian state. Instead they sought Israel’s destruction, and were joined by newly formed Palestinian terrorist organizations. The truth is that at Camp David in 2000, and again at Annapolis in 2008, Israeli leaders made far-reaching offers for peace. Those offers were met by rejection, evasion, and even terrorism.
“The truth is that to advance peace, in 2005 Israel dismantled entire communities and uprooted thousands of people from their homes in the Gaza Strip. And rather than use this opportunity to build a peaceful future, the Palestinians turned Gaza into an Iranian terror base, from which thousands of rockets were fired into Israeli cities. As we were reminded just last week, the area has been turned into a launching pad for rockets into Israeli cities, a haven for global terrorists, and an ammunition dump for Iranian weapons. Time after time, the Palestinian leadership refused to accept responsibility. They refused to make the tough decisions for peace."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, currently in Washington to attend the Saban Forum, also remarked on Abbas' speech Thursday, saying that it proved, once again, that Abbas was "an enemy who has no desire for peace."
"This hate speech serves as the best explanation why Abbas cannot advance his people. All he can do is to take advantage of them to advance his own personal needs while inflicting pain on his people and pushing any potential peace agreement further and further away," Lieberman said.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, also in Washington, held a joint press conference with U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta late Thursday in which he remarked that "the U.N. declaration is damaging. It will not lead to a solution. The two-state solution is not a favor to the Palestinians, and it isn't a favor they are doing to us."
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Army Radio on Friday that "we saw Abbas' hate speech, in which he essentially negated 4,000 years of Jewish history. I think that the symbolism of the date also proves that this is part of the ongoing Palestinian incitement." On Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. approved the Partition Plan for Palestine.
Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich exploited the U.N. vote to advance her campaign against the prime minister, saying that Netanyahu needed to ask himself and his partner, Lieberman, how Israel could have suffered such an embarrassing defeat on their watch, and how it was them, of all people, who gave the Palestinians such a big gift, "and on Nov. 29, no less."
Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On echoed her colleague's sentiments, saying that the world had handed Netanyahu a "big slap in the face." She congratulated the Palestinians on establishing a state and called on Netanyahu to renew peace talks with Abbas.