Israel is carrying out 'ethnic cleansing,' Abbas shoots back at PM

by Garry Watts September 13, 2016, 4:55

Why, asked Netanyahu, are Israel's Arab citizens not viewed as an obstacle to peace, but the settlers are?

"That's because they aren't".

In addition to releasing provocative videos, Benjamin Netanyahu has also been taking to Twitter and Facebook in a campaign to show historical evidence that Jews lived in the Land of Israel thousands of years ago. "There is a phrase for this", Netanyahu said.

US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said at a briefing in Washington that PM Netanyahu's message was "inappropriate and unhelpful".

David Friedman said the Obama administration "should be ashamed of their misguided reaction" to a statement on Facebook by Mr Netanyahu which claimed the Palestinian leadership want a Palestinian state with no Jews in it.

She said the video had caused the United States position to change from accepting settlement blocs to rejecting the entire West Bank enterprise.

Netanyahu accuses two-state supporters of advocating ethnic cleansing.

The future independent Palestinian state will not include a Jewish minority, a top Palestinian official told USA Today on Wednesday [9/7/2011], adding that it was in the best interest of both peoples to "be separated".

"After Netanyahu's video, the USA is saying that all the settlements, including the blocs, are an obstacle, whereas in the past they were recognised", she said in remarks relayed by a spokesman.

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Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Netanyahu's remarks "toxic wind gusts" aimed at breaking the will of Palestinians.

On Sept. 9, Netanyahu had a small "slip" that betrayed a fraction of his real emotions: In an English-language public relations clip that was disseminated on the internet, Netanyahu spoke about the Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria and said that the casting of settlements as an obstacle for peace is "perplexing".

This comes as the occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015. The irony is, of course, that these settlers initially colonized this land after it was captured in the 1967 war at the behest of the state.

"The government of Israel is carrying out ethnic cleansing and deliberately killing - acts that have exposed it to worldwide criticism all over the world", Abbas said.

"Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state?"

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

He then continued by asking viewers if they would find it acceptable to have "a territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without blacks". "Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?"

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about a possible meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas in Moscow, brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. While showing he is tough, he is also trying to establish a principle: "Just as there have been and will continue to be Arab citizens of Israel, so, too, should there be the right for Jews to remain in a future West Bank state".

Because the West Bank has been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967, the worldwide community calls these settlements "illegal".

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