Abbas should stop spreading 'disgusting' antisemitism says James Cleverly

The UK Foreign Secretary also condemned Iran for its constant calls to destroy Israel


Mahmoud Abbas should not spread “disgusting antisemitic tropes” and condemn terrorist attacks against Israelis, James Cleverly has said. 

The UK Foreign Secretary’s calls came shortly before a meeting with the Palestinian Authority leadership during his visit to Israel. 

Addressing the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Cleverly said: “When I meet with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, I will make it clear that rather than spreading disgusting antisemitic tropes and outrageous distortions of history, they should be clear in their denouncement of violence.”

He added: “The PA should be clear that there is no acceptance for brutality and terrorism. It should be clear that there is no excuse to target Israelis, particularly Israeli civilians, because that is the only way that peace is possible.”

PA leader Abbas came under fire last week after claiming Hitler fought with the Jews 'because of their social role and not because of their religion' during a speech at his Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council last month. 

According to a translation of the remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Abbas also claimed the Jews were one of the causes of Germany’s loss in World War I, a false claim which Hitler initially peddled. 

The Palestinian leader also repeated the 'Khazar Myth' that he has peddled often over the years, stating that Ashkenazi Jews descend from Turkish Khazars who converted, rather than biblical Jews. He also accused the United States and Great Britain of inventing the idea of Jewish statehood.

Cleverly also urged both Israelis and Palestinians to “crack down on activities that inflame violence and spread racism and hate.”

The Foreign Secretary said the UK would “stand by Israel’s right to self-defence” underscoring that Israel’s “right to self-defence belongs exclusively to Israel’s security forces who operate within the line of international law”. 

Cleverly also stressed his continued support for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. He added: “The two-state solution is the best, perhaps the only route to a genuinely sustainable peace in the region.

“The first step is always the hardest and it is only by reconciling with those with whom reconciliation seemed unthinkable can peace prevail.

“That first step would be for all sides, Israelis and Palestinians, to recommit and demonstrate unequivocal support for a two-state solution.”

The Conservative MP for Braintree also condemned Iran for its constant calls to destroy the Jewish state.

He said: “Iran refuses to take responsibility for their complicity in these attacks, but we in the UK are under no illusion about Iran’s maligned role.”

Cleverly added the UK’s strategic partnership with Israel means that it must “counter Iran’s destabilising actions in the region.”

During his trip to Israel, Cleverly met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. 

He also met PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in the West Bank on Wednesday morning. A Foreign Office spokesperson said of the meeting: “The Foreign Secretary and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met in Ramallah today.

“The Foreign Secretary reassured the Prime Minister that the UK’s position on the Occupied Palestinian Territories has not changed. He reiterated the UK’s commitment to a two-state solution, based on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

“The Foreign Secretary acknowledged the Prime Minister’s concerns about the trajectory of instability in the West Bank, particularly in the context of increased Israeli incursions and the rise of settler violence.  

“The Foreign Secretary urged the Prime Minister to hold elections as soon as possible, as part of a process of democratic renewal in the Occupied Palestinian Territories [West Bank]."

The Foreign Secretary also spoke with Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were killed earlier this year in a Palestinian terror attack, and visited Yad Vashem where he laid a wreath.

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