Oct 28, 2015
Abbas: U.N. must protect Palestinians from Israeli ‘crimes’
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday asked the United Nations for “international protection” for his people and accused Israel of the most egregious human rights violations since 1948.
Abbas, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, said the recent surge of violence in Israel and Palestinian territories was the inevitable result of Israel’s behavior. He called on Israeli leaders to press forward with a two-state solution and ripped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for trying to link Palestinians to the Holocaust.
“When the Israeli prime minister tries to absolve Adolf Hitler of his ugly crimes against Jews, and blames the Palestinian for those crimes, he is trying to justify the crimes against the Palestinian people,” Abbas said.
Netanyahu, at the World Zionist Congress in Israel last week, said Hitler “didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews.” Netanyahu said Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Muslim Palestinian leader at the time, “went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.'”
Netanyahu later attempted to clarify his comments, saying Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust, but al-Husseini encouraged him and also wanted to see the Jews dead.
The controversy has added fuel to a political firestorm raging for more than a month, since rumors began spreading that Israel was planning to take over one of Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy sites. The hilltop area revered by Jews as the Temple Mount is also home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest shrine. Israel has vehemently denied the claim.
Eleven Israelis have died and many more have been wounded, most by knife attacks at the hands of Palestinians. More than 50 Palestinians also have died, most of them identified as attackers by Israeli.
Abbas reiterated his unwillingness to negotiate a partial agreement, and asked the U.N. to establish a timeline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
“Isn’t it high time for the international community to move from merely talking about the justice of the Palestinian cause to taking practical measures and procedures that would serve justice to my Palestinian people?” he said.
Israeli Ambassador Eviatar Manor refused to attend the Abbas speech, decrying his comments as inflammatory propaganda, The New York Times reported.
“The Human Rights Council is being used as a stage for propaganda,” Manor said. “What we have witnessed today is the glorification of terror and violence. What the Council allowed today is the banalization of the spilling of Jewish blood.”