“The article is a blatant distortion of historical facts which are well-known and documented,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “The Palestinians were the ones who refused the partition plan for two states while the Jews had agreed.”
Netanyahu was referring to Abbas’ claim in his article that “the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued.”
Abbas conveniently omitted the rejection of the partition plan by the Arab world and the fact that most Arabs living in Israel left because they were told to do so by their leaders, who promised them that they would return after Israel was quickly annihilated.
Netanyahu also mentioned that Abbas skipped over the Arab nations' attacks on the young Jewish state following its declaration, saying that “Arab armies aided by Palestinian forces were the ones who attacked the Jewish state in order to destroy it. Yet all of this is not even mentioned in the article.”
Netanyahu added that “we can conclude from the article that the Palestinian leadership sees in the establishment of a Palestinian state a means to continue the conflict with Israel instead of ending it.”
In his op-ed in the Times, Abbas also said that the future PA state would be “a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.” He added that its entry into the UN would allow the PA “to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice,” but his skewing of history and unity with the Hamas terror organization puts those statements into another perspective, according to Israel's Prime Minister.
Abbas also called for the creation of the Palestinian Authority as a new country inside Israel’s borders, with only the refugee question open to negotiation. He stated that the entry of the PA into the UN as a full-fledged member “would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one.”
Previously, in a Knesset speech on Monday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu had said, "This is not a conflict about 1967. , about the State of Israel's very existence. You must have noticed that yesterday's events [“Nakba Day”] did not take place on June 5, the day the Six Day War erupted; they took place on May 15, the day the State of Israel was established."
The Knesset’s Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs discussed on Tuesday the influence of the Palestinian Authority’s propaganda on the safety and security of Jews living in the Diaspora.
During the meeting, committee chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud) said that Jews in the United States and France are afraid to walk around university campuses because of Arab propaganda. Danon called on the Foreign and Public Relations Ministries to move from the defensive to the offensive and launch an Israeli satellite channel which would broadcast in Arabic and in English.
Daniel Zonshine, Director of the Information Department at the Foreign Ministry, said in response to Danon that the budget for public relations efforts throughout the world stands at 40 million shekels per year, of which only 12 million shekels are allocated for actual activities.
Danon called on Zonshine to request an increase in the budget and noted, “Today, this is the main battlefield. A lecture at a university abroad, a Facebook page, or an interview in Arabic are as influential as a tank and sometimes even more.”
Danon later told INN TV, “We saw today in the committee that the Palestinian incitement crosses all borders. They’re using aggressive lies in order to fight Israel. We have to fight back and we’ve called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start fighting.”
Danon added that “it is sometimes more important to invest in Israeli PR than to invest in the Israeli army. We have to be very clear with the messages, and we’ve decided that we will start to fight back and the issues of Nakba and all the other lies should be answered immediately.”