U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Deborah Lipstadt on Wednesday slammed as “unacceptable” Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s comparison this week of Israel to Nazi Germany.
“P.A. President Abbas’s equating Israel with the lies of top Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels is an affront to Holocaust victims and survivors. Especially during a time of rising antisemitic violence throughout the world, such rhetoric about the world’s only Jewish state is entirely unacceptable,” tweeted Lipstadt.
Abbas made the comments during an event on Monday at the United Nations marking “Nakba Day,” meaning the “disaster” or “catastrophe” of the re-establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948.
“Zionists continue to say that Israel made the desert bloom. As if Palestine was a desert and they made the desert bloom,” said Abbas. “These are lies. They continue to lie, like Goebbels, and they continue to lie until people believe them.”
Abbas also demanded the “right of return” for some five million descendants of Palestinians displaced during the Arab-initiated war to eradicate the nascent Jewish state following its modern-day rebirth.
“I am a Palestinian refugee. I want to return to my land. … I want Tzfat,” said Abbas, who was born in the northern Israeli town.
Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan had sent a letter to colleagues urging them not to take part in “Nakba Day” ceremonies. “The thought that an international organization could mark the establishment of one of its member states as a catastrophe or disaster is both appalling and repulsive,” he wrote.
Erdan warned that attending such one-sided initiatives “gives a green light to the Palestinians to continue exploiting international organs to promote their libelous narrative.” It also contributes to Jew-hatred, he said.
Some 45 countries, including the United States, boycotted the event.
In August, Abbas claimed while in Berlin that Israel had perpetrated “50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts” against the Palestinians.
He made the remarks after having been asked whether he intended to apologize to Israel and Germany in advance of the 50th anniversary of the massacre by Palestinian terrorists of 11 Israeli coaches and athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ‘50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace but a monstrous lie. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him,” said then-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.