Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) gestures as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas looks on.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Nimr Hammad, a political adviser to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels Thursday, according to Israel Radio.
The adviser accused Netanyahu of using Goebbel's propaganda strategy in order to persuade the international pubic that the PA is the source of stagnation in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.
"Netanyahu implemented propaganda and lying in the hopes that the international community will accept his claims," Hammad said in an interview with a Palestinian network.
His words were a reaction to Netanyahu's speech Tuesday at a conference at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.
During his speech, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of “bridge building” with countries both near and far.
“I want to say something about bridge building. It is not always achieved by grand pronouncements,” he said. “In fact, it can often be undermined by them. Bridge building is a delicate process that has been quietly strengthened in the past few years and can be dramatically strengthened in the years ahead, especially if some of our Arab neighbors join us in influencing the Palestinians to get back to the table and negotiate a responsible deal – responsible and good for both our peoples.”
Netanyahu, after enumerating the dangers in the region, said there may be an opening with the Palestinians because some of the Arab states “might be in a position to influence the Palestinians to adopt a more conciliatory and positive approach.”
From both the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives, he said, it makes sense to “try to negotiate a real deal of a demilitarized [Palestinian] state that recognizes the nation state of the Jewish people.”
Rather than doing that, he asserted, the PA prefers internationalizing the conflict. “I again call on [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas to again return to negotiations without preconditions,” he said, “but I also know he has very little reason to talk.”
Netanyahu asked what incentive Abbas has to return to talks.
“They refuse to negotiate, and then get international pressure, sanctions and boycotts on Israel for there not being negotiations,” he said. “And there are those who attempt to impose terms in the [UN] Security Council because there are no talks, and some pretend the dangers we face are not real dangers at all.”
Trying to impose peace from the outside won’t work, he said, and will guarantee two things: Israel will resist these attempts, and the Palestinians won’t come to the table. Herb Keinon contributed to this report.