CAIRO, Egypt — Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi blasted Israel as a bastion of “fascism and racial discrimination” on Saturday at a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss a French Middle East peace initiative.
The Arab ministers are expected to adopt a resolution on the plan to revive negotiations between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
In his speech to the ministers, Arabi, who has been a vocal critic of Israel, said the country “has truly become today the last bastion of fascism, colonialism and racial discrimination in the world.”
Abbas has rejected an Israeli offer for direct negotiations instead of the French multilateral peace initiative, which Israel has turned down.
On Saturday, he blamed Israel for stalling the talks.
“We tried hard with the Israeli government to implement signed treaties and respect our and their commitments, but they refused,” he said.
The French initiative involves holding a meeting of foreign ministers from a range of countries, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, on June 3, but without the Israelis and Palestinians present.
An international conference would then be held in the autumn, with the Israelis and Palestinians in attendance. The goal is an eventual relaunch of negotiations that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.
Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in April 2014.