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Palestinian President Abbas Lashes Out Against Jerusalem “Judaization”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has again launched an attack on the “Judaization” of Jerusalem, [1] calling on Islamic countries to wage a “fierce and brutal” campaign against Jewish control of the Jewish state’s capital city:

He also called on these countries to invest in various projects in east Jerusalem and accused Israel of waging a “fierce and brutal” campaign against the city and the Aksa Mosque. “Over the past four-and-a-half decades, the machine of Judaization and elimination of the city’s Arab, Islamic and Christian character has not stopped in accordance with a systematic and programmed policy aimed at isolating Jerusalem from its surroundings,” Abbas said in his speech.

Denying the ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem, a key marker of Jewish identity, has become a prominent part [2] of anti-Israel statements issued by Palestinian leaders and advisors. It has been criticized not just as willfully ahistorical – Jerusalem has been a Jewish-majority city since at least [3] 1853 – but as endangering the possibility for peace by reinforcing Israeli perceptions of Palestinian irredentism.

Abbas in particular has attacked the “Judaization” of Jerusalem. In August 2012 he insisted [4] that announced that Israeli activity would “not create a [Jewish] right based on fantasy and legends.” He also described the ancient Temple in Jerusalem as an “alleged” Temple, one of at least 97 times [5] Palestinian leaders, media outlets, and institutions used that phrase in 2011 and 2012.

Abbas’s 1982 doctoral thesis “The Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement 1933 – 1945″ embraced Holocaust revisionism [6] in order to delegitimize Israel, blaming Zionists for intentionally promoting the murder of Europe’s Jews in Nazi death camps. Abbas ignited a storm of controversy last month by repeating the charge [7] on Lebanese television.

Abbas’s recent statements – denying a Jewish connection to Jerusalem, but insisting on one to the Holocaust – are deepening concerns that the Palestinian leader is shifting to the rhetoric and tactics of the pre-Oslo Palestinian Liberation Organization. Abbas is routinely hailed as a key Palestinian pragmatist who is critical to promoting the Israeli-Arab peace process.

[Photo: ThisParticularGreg / Flickr [8]]