Abbas repeats libel to EU
Israeli rabbis called to poison water
and cause "mass murder of Palestinians"
Abbas later was forced to retract
Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas have a history of spreading horrific libels whose purpose is to create hatred and fear among Palestinians and demonize Israel in the international community.
The latest Palestinian Authority libel, which Palestinian Media Watch described in detail last week which accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian water sources in order to kill Palestinians and force them to emigrate, was repeated by Mahmoud Abbas when speaking at the European Union on Friday. Because this was said at the EU and televised, the condemnation was widespread and Abbas was forced to issue a retraction. The retraction was not televised but was a press statement issued by his office.
The following is the excerpt from Abbas' speech reiterating the poison wells libel:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "There is an issue that the Israelis are bringing up, and that is the issue of incitement. Despite the fact that the Israeli incitement does not stop, and the actions of the occupation (i.e., Israel) and the settlers do not stop... Just a week ago, some rabbis rose up in Israel and explicitly announced and demanded of their government that it poison the water in order to kill the Palestinians. Is this not clear incitement? Is this not clear incitement, whose goal is to carry out a mass murder of Palestinians? We are against incitement!"
[Official PA TV, June 23, 2016]
The libel that rabbis called to poison the Palestinians' water, which had been voiced by the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the PLO in the days prior to Abbas' speech, did not appear in the written version of Abbas' speech, which was publicized in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on June 24, 2016. Apparently Abbas decided to add it in at the last moment.
The following is the text of the retraction published by Abbas' office:
Headline: "[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas]: Palestine is the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, and we are not among those who harm any one of them"
"[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the Israeli accusations and declarations directed against him and against the Palestinian people, according to which he harmed Judaism, and condemned accusations against him of Antisemitism.
After it became clear that the reports that were published in many media outlets about the declarations of a rabbi regarding the poisoning of Palestinian wells were baseless, President Abbas - out of the deep respect he has for all religions, including Judaism - emphasizes that he did not intend to harm Judaism or its believers in general. However, at the same time he condemns the illegal actions and steps of the occupation authorities (i.e., Israel) and its settlers against the Palestinian people, including the incitement against him and against his rights."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 25, 2016]