Abbas at U.N. blasts Israel as racist

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his U.N. address blasted Israel as seeking to end the two-state solution but tamped down any plans to seek statehood unilaterally.

Describing what he said were “racist” attacks by settlers on Palestinians in collusion with the Israeli government, Abbas told the General Assembly on Sept. 27 that he has reached the conclusion “that the Israeli government rejects the two-state solution.”

He said, however, that Palestinians remain ready to negotiate a two-state solution.

“We do not seek to delegitimize an existing state, that is, Israel,” Abbas said.

Abbas said at least three times that the Palestine Liberation Organization was the sole representative of the Palestinian people, an implied rebuke to Hamas, which still controls the Gaza Strip.

He affirmed Palestine as the historic homeland of three faiths — Judaism, Islam and Christianity — a nod to Jewish anger when he omitted Jewish claims to the land in his speech last year.

Abbas has suspended peace talks with Israel since October 2010, saying it must again freeze settlement expansion before he returns to the table, as Israel did for 10 months that year.

In his own speech following Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chided the Palestinian president for delivering a “libelous” speech and urged him to return to talks toward establishing a “demilitarized Palestinian state.” — jta