JERUSALEM: Israel’s intelligence minister has said Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is the world’s most anti-Semitic leader following the departure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president last year. “Since Ahmadinejad left the political stage, Abu Mazen is the number one leader in injecting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel poison,” Yuval Steinitz told a Tel Aviv security conference Wednesday, using the name by which Abbas is popularly known in Arabic. “Under Abu Mazen the level of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in the (Palestinian) Authority has reached new highs, where the bottom line is the destruction of Israel,” said Steinitz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. “As someone who denied the Holocaust in his youth, he today denies the very existence of the Jewish people and their right to their own state,” he told the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, according to a transcript on the INSS website. “As long as we do not see substantive change in the (Palestinian) educational system and media, a peace agreement is an illusion.”
Abbas’s spokesman hit back at Steinitz on Thursday, saying Israel’s own incitement was manifesting itself in the killing of Palestinians by the Israeli army.
In a statement, Nabil Abu Rudeina insisted that Palestinians would do nothing to undermine US efforts to push peace talks forward, and called on the US and Israel’s government to condemn inflammatory rhetoric against Palestinian leaders.
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