The head of the largest Arab grouping has described Israel as a den of “fascism and racial discrimination” after Tel Aviv rejected a new initiative to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians.
Israel “has truly become today the last bastion of fascism, colonialism and racial discrimination in the world,” Arab League chief Nabil el-Araby said following a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on Saturday.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also denounced Israel for stonewalling the so-called peace negotiations.
“We tried to implement the signed agreements and respect our obligations, but the Israelis have refused (to observe theirs),” he told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo, May 28, 2016. (© WAFA news agency)
He also blamed increasing “radicalization” in Israel on the appointment of hawkish Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s minister of military affairs.
“Israel has undergone huge radicalization in the last few years, which even senior Israeli officials acknowledge, and which brought Lieberman into the administration,” Abbas said.
Araby’s remarks echoed those by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak who said on Friday that Israel has been “infected by the seeds of fascism.”
Responding to the resignation of Israeli minister of military affairs Moshe Ya’alon, Barak said the new regime “needs to be brought down before it brings all of us down.”
Ya’alon has said Israel has been taken over by “dangerous and radical officials” in a cabinet described as “the most extremist” in the regime’s history.
On Friday, Israeli Environment Minister Avi Gabbay also resigned in protest at PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s appointment of Lieberman.
Netanyahu has further rejected a French initiative for a multinational conference to re-kindle Israeli-Palestinian talks, and called for direct negotiations.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has dismissed the Israeli proposal for direct negotiations, calling it an attempt to “buy time.”