Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked the Palestinian Authority Tuesday, saying that comments in its official press likening Israel to Nazi Germany are a hindrance to peace.
“I’m concerned that in the Palestinian press we’ve had continual references to Nazi Germany, comparing Israel and Israel’s leaders to Nazis, saying that we carry Nazi genes,” Netanyahu said in his opening remarks at a meeting with the president of Georgia. “This is a way of poisoning the atmosphere for peace. It must stop. This whole incitement against Israel must cease if we’re to have the genuine peace that we deserve and our Palestinian neighbors deserve as well.”
Netanyahu’s statement came a day after the Israeli watchdog Palestinian Media Watch published excerpts translated from a column published on January 22 in Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the Palestinian Authority’s official daily newspaper, in which the writer claimed that Netanyahu had inherited Nazi genes and explicitly accused him of using Nazi practices against the Palestinian population.
“Is it possible that Netanyahu has preserved it [racism] and acquired it genetically from the days of the Nazis and the Aryan race?” he wrote. “Instead of Netanyahu disassociating himself from any act that would remind him of [Adolf] Hitler’s racism, he imitates it and wants to replicate it against the people of Palestine, its inhabitants and nation and even against the citizens of the State of Israel themselves.”
Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is not a new practice in the Palestinian media, and Israeli officials have consistently pointed to incitement in the Palestinian media as a cause of violence by Palestinians against Israel.