The United States on Friday slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the United Nations, in which he accused Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians, saying it was “offensive” and undermined peace efforts.
“President Abbas’s speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties,” she added.
In Abbas’s address to the UN General Assembly, he demanded an end to the occupation, accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in Gaza and asserted that Palestinians faced a future in a “most abhorrent form of apartheid” under Israeli rule.
Earlier, Israeli leaders reacted with anger and scorn to Abbas’s address, with one official from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office accusing the PA president of incitement.
In his address, Abbas accused Israel of committing genocide in its recent conflict with terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip — calling 2014 “a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people” — and said that Israel was not interested in living in peace with its Palestinian neighbors.
“It’s a speech of incitement full of lies,” an unnamed source from the Prime Minister’s Office told the Hebrew press. “That’s not how someone who wants peace speaks.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement shortly after Abbas’s speech that the PA president demonstrated that “he doesn’t want to be, and cannot be, a partner for a logical diplomatic resolution.
“It’s no coincidence that he joined a [national consensus] government with Hamas,” the foreign minister added. “Abbas complements Hamas when he deals with diplomatic terrorism and slanders Israel with false accusations.
“As long as he’s chairman of the Palestinian Authority, he will continue the conflict. He is the continuation of [late Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat through different means,” continued Liberman.
West Bank settler group foreign envoy Dani Dayan responded to the PA chief’s speech by saying that Abbas was the “broadcaster for Hamas” and that the Fatah party leader had delivered one of his most “libelous, defamatory and self-righteous speeches.”
The former Yesha Council chairman said in English on Twitter that “by using the word ‘genocide,’ Abbas gave up the empathy of the Israeli public, including most of the left.”
By using the word "genocide" Abbas gave up the empathy of the Israeli public, including most of the left
— דני דיין (@dandayan) September 26, 2014