In his speech before the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas charged that Jews are “really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion.”
I don’t want to discuss religion or history because they are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion. But if we read the Torah it says that the Canaanites were there before the time of our prophet Abraham and their existence continued since that time. This is in the Torah itself. But if [inaudible] would like to fake this history, they are really masters in this and it is mentioned in the holy Quran they fabricate truth and they try to do that and they believe in that but we have been there in this location for thousands of years.
Jerusalem Post editor Seth Frantzman also reported on the speech and noted that in 2012, Abbas had denied the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, charging that Israel was “aiming to demolish al- Aksa mosque and build the alleged Temple in order to uproot its citizens, Judaize it and eternalize its occupation.”
Frantzman also noted that Abbas spoke of the Muslim and Christian connection to Jerusalem but never mentioned the Jewish connection.
It appears that Abbas went off-script as the charge that Jews “are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history,” does not appear in an unofficial transcript of the talk. However, the unofficial transcript does refer generally to “plots” against Jerusalem to “to falsify its identity.”
On Wednesday, the White House blasted Abbas’s claims in general, saying that his rhetoric “has prevented peace for years.”
In a talk about anti-Semitism with leaders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in May, Secretary-General António Guterres said that anti-Zionism and the denial of Israel’s right to exist were forms of anti-Semitism. Guterres also blasted attempts to deny the Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, stating, “History must be respected. Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions.”
Abbas’s denial of any historical connection between Jews and Jerusalem is a reaffirmation of Article 20 of the Palestinian National Charter. The article states, in part, that “Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood.”
In 1993, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat promised, as part of the Oslo peace process, to revoke elements of the charter that deny Israel’s right to exist. After initially failing to keep his commitment, Arafat specified in a 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton that Article 20 would be among those that would be revoked. In December 1998, the Palestinian legislature officially voted to revoke those sections of the charter that were inconsistent with the Palestinians’ commitment to peace.
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