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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented a bid for full membership in the United Nations on Friday, knowing that he lacked the votes to bring the matter to the Security Council. He then delivered a harsh, distorted, hate-filled speech to the General Assembly.
Abbas blamed the failure of the peace process entirely on Israel. He said he would not return to negotiations unless Israel freezes building in the territories. Israel is ready to renew negotiations immediately—but without preconditions.
Abbas shocked observers with the harshness of his speech. He stated that a future Palestine should include East Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter of the city and the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. And he called for a return to the 1967 lines—which security experts say are impossible to defend.
Abbas also mentioned that he came from the Holy Land, a place holy to Muslims and Christians. He totally omitted any mention of Jewish links to the land of the Bible.
In his 40-minute speech, Abbas also said he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He condemned the security fence that has saved countless lives, both Palestinian and Jewish, as a “racist annexation wall.”
He called for the release of terrorists held in Israeli jails. He even condemned archaeology that has uncovered much evidence of the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judea.
Abbas also praised his “reconciliation” with Iran-backed Hamas terrorists in Gaza. He condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza but did not mention the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians.
Despite his harsh rhetoric, Abbas does not have the votes to pass his resolution. The United States, Germany, Italy and many other key nations oppose granting Palestinian statehood without negotiations with Israel—the only way to reach a final peace agreement.
“This was a counterproductive and harsh speech that offered nothing to Israelis,” said former National Security Council official Richard Haas. “It was a very disappointing speech.”
"Israel wants peace and a Palestinian state," says The Israel Project's Founder & President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi. "Sadly, sometimes they seem to want it more than the Palestinians. I deeply hope that President Abbas will recognize that the issues of security, borders, water and refugees need to be resolved with mutual respect and agreements ... and cannot be imposed by the United Nations. He should drop his preconditions and hate and come to peace talks right away. Israel is ready for this conflict to end so both sides can have a better future."
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