US envoy to UN criticizes Abbas for Holocaust remarks, Ben Gvir for Temple Mount visit
Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield takes both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to task over recent inflammatory moves during her speech at the monthly UN Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Thomas-Greenfield calls Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s equating of Israel with Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels “a gross affront to Holocaust victims and survivors.”
“Making this kind of statement about the world’s only Jewish state is entirely unacceptable, especially during a time of rising antisemitic violence around the world,” says the US envoy, who also took issue with Abbas’s claim that the US “wanted to get rid of the Jews and benefit from their presence in Palestine” before 1948.
This “is totally without basis and it is deeply offensive to the American people,” Thomas-Greenfield says.
Turning to Israel, Thomas-Greenfield calls out far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s “provocative” visit to the Temple Mount earlier this week along with his “accompanying inflammatory rhetoric” while there — that Israel is “in charge” at the holy site.
The US envoy also criticizes the the Israeli decision to lift the ban on citizens entering the evacuated Homesh settlement, which sits on private Palestinian land.
Thomas-Greenfield also calls out the “outrageous and unacceptable” chants of “death to Arabs” and other “racist speech” used by participants at last week’s Flag March of nationalist Jews through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.
“These chants… run counter to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General Moratinos to combat racism and other forms of bigotry, including antisemitism,” she adds.
Each of the issues raised by Thomas-Greenfield have already been criticized by other Biden officials in recent days, and the ambassador’s speech is often a review of statements that the Biden administration has issued since the last Security Council session on the conflict.