MKs discuss anti-Semitism after Abbas calls for Israeli-free state

Liberman wonders why no one at peace talks has asked PA president to apologize for inflammatory doctoral dissertation on the Holocaust.

Naftali Bennett at cabinet meeting 370 (photo credit: Alex Kolomoisky/Pool/Yediot Aharonot)
Naftali Bennett at cabinet meeting 370
(photo credit: Alex Kolomoisky/Pool/Yediot Aharonot)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s statement that “in a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli...on our lands” took center stage at a Knesset conference on Tuesday, with MKs inferring Israel’s negotiating partner is an anti-Semite.
Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, who is responsible for the government’s efforts to battle anti-Semitism, attended a conference of a Knesset caucus on the issue, led by MK Shimon Ohayon (Likud Beytenu), and pointed out that Abbas denied the Holocaust.
“The president of the Palestinian Authority said he doesn’t want to see any Israelis on his land. Bad things happen when good people are silent. Good people need to act,” Bennett said.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman (Likud Beytenu) said he keeps a copy of Abbas’s book, which purports to connect Zionism and Nazism and has a Star of David and a swastika on its cover, in his office.
“I don’t know why, now that we’re all so excited about the peace process, no one remembered to mention it. Abbas never took his words back or apologized,” Liberman said.
Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said he read Abbas’s dissertation from the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, and explained that it claims Zionism and Nazism worked together because both wanted to remove all Jews from Europe.
“To this day, people ask me if I think anti-Semitism is a good thing, because it brings people to Israel. What ignorance and lies!” Sharansky said.
“Anti-Semitism is enemy number one of Zionism,” he added. “For every one person who makes aliya because of anti-Semitism, 10 assimilate.
Anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel lead Jews to distance themselves Judaism and Israel.”
Sharansky said anti-Semitism “is reaching new heights” and that the Knesset must put it on its agenda.
Bennett explained that from biblical times until now, people have tried to attack the Jewish spirit and body.
“People tried assimilating, thinking that if we look and act like other people, we’ll be all right, but then the Holocaust happened,” Bennett said. “We can’t blame ourselves.
We can’t try to accept or understand anti-Semitism, or think that if we try to make our country more likable around the world, it’ll stop.”
The Bayit Yehudi chairman called for Jews to stand up for themselves and say that Israel is their country, adding that Israel is responsible for Jewish people around the world.
Liberman pointed to anti- Semitism masked as anti-Israel opinion and delegitimization of Israel as new forms of the phenomenon.
MK Nachman Shai (Labor), however, called for caution in labeling anti-Israel activity as anti-Semitic, saying that they do not always overlap.
“We recently saw anti-Semitism as part of an election campaign, like in the last election in Venezuela. It’s clear that anti-Semitism is still common,” Liberman said. “Of course, the international observers kept quiet about it.”
The Yisrael Beytenu chairman called for MKs to do all they can “to protest this shameful phenomenon” and make sure it isn’t swept under the rug.
At the beginning of the conference, Ohayon pointed to recent incidents of anti-Semitism, such as former Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters who displayed a Star of David on a pig at a recent concert, and the rise of the Jobbik party in Hungary.
Ohayon called for MKs with international connections to work toward having legislation passed and enforced in other countries to combat anti-Semitism.