ZOA Condemns P.A.’s Abbas’ Incitement in Speech Claiming Israel Is Harming Al Aqsa Mosque, Denying Religious Freedom in Jerusalem
News
February 27, 2012

 


Calls Upon Obama to Condemn Abbas Speech


 


 


 


 


 


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas’ blatant anti-Israel incitement in a speech he delivered in Doha, Qatar, in which he accused Israel of inventing a Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, working to undermine the foundations of the Al-Aqsa mosque atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, and harming freedom of religious worship in Jerusalem. The ZOA has called upon President Barack Obama to strongly condemn Abbas’ Doha speech.


 


In his address to the so-called International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem, Abbas said:


 


“The occupation … by virtue of brute force [is] able to invent history and install the allegations, and the abolition of facts, religious and historical … they are working day and night, for the fabrication of artificial details … … the occupation authorities have at the disposal of extremists to carry out excavations continued that threaten to undermine Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to extract the evidence that supports the Israeli Jewish version. They failed miserably, but that did not prevent them from …the establishment of the so-called biblical garden at the expense of the lands and houses of Jerusalem … we must all develop a plan of action associated with the various Christian churches to preserve the churches as places of worship, not places for tourism, especially as there are tens of thousands of Christian believers performing a pilgrimage to the Holy Land each year … Hence the need to encourage all who can, especially our brothers from Arab and Islamic countries as well as our fellow Arabs and Muslims and Christians in Europe and America to go to visit Jerusalem. … I emphasize here that the visit of the prisoner does not mean in any way normalization with the warden” (‘Excerpts from Mahmoud Abbas address denying Jewish history,’ Independent Media Review Analysis, February 26, 2012).


 


Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Abbas’ words as constituting ‘severe incitement’ and added, “It’s time for the Palestinian leadership to stop denying the past and distorting reality … For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people. The city allows the freedom of worship for everyone, and Israel will continue to devotedly protect the holly sites of all religions. Abbas knows well that his slanderous statements are groundless – including the baseless and irresponsible remarks about the al-Aqsa mosque. The State of Israel expects the (leader), who supposedly aspires for peace, to prepare his people for peace and co-existence instead of spreading lies and incitement. This is not how you make peace” (‘PM: Abbas’ speech – irresponsible incitement,’ Yediot Ahronot, February 26, 2012).


 


 


ZOA National Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, “Unfortunately, Abbas’ inflammatory, lie-filled speech in Doha is in line with many other of his pronouncements.


 


“It is routine in Abbas’ PA media to see stories, broadcasts and features claiming that Jerusalem was never Jewish, never the biblical capital of the ancient Hebrew kingdoms, and so on. Also recall that, in November 2001, Abbas’ PA endorsed a preposterous ‘study’ claiming that Jews have no claim of any kind to the Western Wall in Jerusalem and that the Western Wall belongs to Muslims and is an integral part of Al-Aqsa Mosque.


 


“Abbas’ latest speech is also similar to other lies he has told, such as in his New York Times opinion piece in May last year, in which he falsely claimed that Israel ‘denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem.’ Naturally, all Muslim shrines, like the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, have functioned continuously in Jerusalem under Israel rule. Jerusalem’s Arab population has increased, as has Arab construction. In fact, it is only under Israeli rule that there has been genuine freedom of religion in historic Jerusalem. 


 


“Under its previous (and illegal) Jordanian occupiers, every synagogue was razed and Jews were barred from merely visiting the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Under Abbas’ PA, Jewish shrines, like Joseph’s Tomb, have been torched and violated. 


 


“Making a speech to the Arab world saying Israel is trying to destroy Muslim and Christian sites is blatant incitement which may indeed lead to bloodshed. No genuine peace partner delivers a speech filled with such lies and incitement. We condemn Mahmoud Abbas and urge President Obama to immediately and strongly condemn Abba’s lie-filled, inflammatory speech in Doha.”


 

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