New York, NY, July 9, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the U.S. government and European Union to unequivocally denounce remarks earlier today by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who referred to Israel’s latest military offensive in Gaza as a “genocide by Israel against our Palestinian people.”
In discussing the situation at a crisis meeting of the Palestinian leadership regarding Israel’s response to ongoing rocket attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza, during which members of the Palestinian Authority indicated they would prepare paperwork in an effort to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Mr. Abbas also commented about Israel’s actions, “Shall we recall Auschwitz?”
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:
This is unacceptable language and accusations coming from the leader of the Palestinian Authority. We are used to the outrageous criticisms of Israel coming from Palestinians, but President Abbas has reached a new low in calling Israel’s self-defense action, after hundreds of rockets have been launched at Israeli civilians, a “genocide,” and then by going even further by comparing Israel’s actions to the murder of 1.5 million Jews at Auschwitz.
Mr. Abbas is frequently referred to as a “moderate” Palestinian leader, and many still hold out hope that this is true. At a time when the Middle East is overrun with extremism in places like Syria and Iraq, to have the leader of the Palestinian Authority further inflame the region with these outrageous comments, is disappointing and dangerous.
We call on the United States, the European Union and other responsible governments to clearly, forcefully and unequivocally denounce these outrageous statements from President Abbas.