Israel Policy Forum expresses its profound disgust over President Mahmoud Abbas’s remarks to the Palestinian National Council, particularly his trafficking in Holocaust denial, racist anti-Jewish stereotypes, and conspiracy theories about the founding of the State of Israel.  Beyond his wider record of anti-Semitic rhetoric, which is extensive, this is the third time Abbas has made such outrageous and inflammatory claims during the past four months. Clearly, it will take more than a hollow apology to rectify the damage caused by his continued reversion to unacceptable anti-Semitic tropes.  Indeed, Abbas may have fatally compromised his legitimacy as a negotiating partner.

Words matter, and Abbas’s unhinged screed once again demonstrates why Israelis rightly fear Palestinian denial of Israel’s legitimacy.  Such nonrecognition of a Jewish connection to the land greatly encumbers prospects for peace. With his repeated ugly and fantastical rhetoric, Abbas has, unfortunately, confirmed that he is part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Israel and the Palestinians must reach a two-state solution that recognizes both sides’ legitimate claims and narratives. President Abbas, and whoever succeeds him in the Palestinian Authority and the P.L.O., must unequivocally recognize these mutual rights in order to be a credible partner in the quest for peace.