PLO: Netanyahu’s UN speech a “blatant manipulation of facts”

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Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 69th United Nations General Assembly on September 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images - Andrew Burton)

Published Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blatantly manipulated the facts when he compared Hamas with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in a UN speech on Monday.

"Netanyahu's speech at the UN was a blatant manipulation of facts and attempted at misleading the audience through a combination of hate language, slander and argument of obfuscation," PLO executive member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

"Obviously Netanyahu has lost touch with reality, particularly in refusing to acknowledge the fact of the occupation itself or the actions of the Israeli army of occupation in committing massacres and war crimes," she added.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly earlier, Netanyahu denied accusations of Israeli war crimes during its July-August offensive on the Gaza Strip that killed 2,140 Palestinians, at least 70 percent of them civilians, and left the enclave in ruins.

Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were also killed in the conflict.

He instead said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was jointly culpable with resistance group Hamas, which responded to Israeli aggression by launching rockets into Occupied Palestine.

"Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel's warnings to leave," Netanyahu said, attempting to put the blame on Palestinians for the high number of civilian casualties killed by Israeli fire.

"I say to president Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for,' he said.

ISIS and Hamas, Netanyahu claimed, "share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control."

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Netanyahu was "portraying Hamas and (ISIS) as two faces of the same coin" although "Hamas is a national liberation movement, while the (Israeli) occupier is the source of evil and terrorism in the world."

In his own address to the General Assembly on Friday, Abbas vowed to seek war crimes prosecutions against Israel over the 50-day conflict in Gaza, which he called a "war of genocide."

Netanyahu hit back on Monday with a jibe at Abbas's 1980 doctoral thesis in which he questioned whether six million Jews were really killed in the Holocaust.

"In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy's civilian population to get out of harm's way?" he asked.

"I suppose it's the same moral universe where a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews... can stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing," he said.

Israel has boasted of warning civilians in Gaza of impending airstrikes by calling for evacuation minutes before the attacks. But in the besieged and densely populated enclave, Gaza residents had few places to run.

On the topic of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, he expressed his support for a "historic compromise" with the Palestinians that would bring peace and stability for the Israeli people and the region. But he offered no details of what such a compromise would envisage.

In his address last week to the 193-nation Assembly, Abbas asserted that years of peace negotiations had failed, stressing that Israel was forging ahead with illegal settlements and maintaining a blockade of Gaza despite formal pledges of peace.

The latest round of Israeli-Palestinian talks, fostered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, collapsed in April amid bitter recriminations on both sides.

Netanyahu: Iran, Hamas and ISIS on same team

During his speech on Monday, Netanyahu tried to shift the spotlight away from ISIS and back to Iran, telling the United Nations that a nuclear-armed Tehran would pose a far greater threat than "militant Islamists on pickup trucks."

Netanyahu described Iran, ISIS and Hamas as part of a single team, comparing them all to Germany's Nazis, who killed six million Jews in World War II.

"The Nazis believed in a master race, the militant Islamists believe in a master faith," Netanyahu said in his speech at the annual gathering of the 193-nation assembly in New York. "They just disagree who among them will be the master of the master faith."

ISIS has declared a Sunni “caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria, and has attacked Shias – the official religion of Iran – as infidels.

"Make no mistake, ISIS must be defeated,"Netanyahu added. "But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war."

Israel is believed to be the only – and undeclared – possessor of nuclear weapons in the region.

Asked if Washington agreed with Netanyahu that Iran, Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah are all part of a joint Muslim effort to seize control of the world, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: "We would not agree with that characterization, no."

"The question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions. There is one place where that could soon happen - the Islamic State of Iran."

He twice referred to the "Islamic State of Iran," which would appear to be a deliberate play on the country's official name - the Islamic Republic of Iran - and ISIS, which is often referred to as Islamic State.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

A striking aspect of all Netanyahu claims about Hamas is that he Routinely Projects his OWN brutality onto his 'enemy du jour'. Recently I reviewed some of Israel's 1980s savage military history in Lebanon & observed they did (then) & continue (now) using 'human shields' with no regard for non-jews who crossed their path; this summer, key israeli MKs called for murdering Palestinian babies, women and elderly.
Impossible not to read Bibi's hard sell on idf's 'morality' as delusional. His lifelong characterization of all non Israeli enemies as "nazi like" is par for the course for this 'chosenist' supremacist militarist (like father like son) ;
surely he fulfills the Warning of deceased pious Israeli scholar Dr Yeshayahu Liebowitz's that occupation will lead to 'Judeo-Nazis'.

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