TEL AVIV – Palestinian leaders on Monday called for suspending recognition of Israel in response to President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.
A vote by the Palestinian Central Council, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s decision-making arm, suspended its recognition of Israel until it “recognizes the state of Palestine, annuls its annexation of east Jerusalem and halts settlement activity,” a statement said.
74 voted in favor and two against with 12 abstentions, according to AFP.
The Central Council also renewed an unimplemented vote from 2015 – the last time it convened – to suspend security coordination with Israel “in all its forms.”
At the PLO’s meeting a day earlier, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Trump’s “ultimate deal” for peace was a slap in the face for the Palestinians, and cursed out the U.S. chief executive by wishing ruin upon his house.
“We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century,’” said Abbas.
“But we will slap back,” he vowed.
Abbas slung a popular Arabic curse at Trump in response to the American president’s threat to cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians if they “spread lies about the U.S.”
“May your house come to ruin,” Abbas said, espousing an Arabic epithet.
He also quoted an Egyptian philosopher’s words on the Balfour Declaration – a 1917 British document that promised a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine – saying, “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews.”
In a rewrite of history, Abbas also suggested that European Jews during the Holocaust chose to suffer “murder and slaughter” rather than come to British-controlled Palestine, when in fact Britain prevented all Jewish emigration to the Holy Land as per the demands of the Arab world.
“The Jews did not want to emigrate even with murder and slaughter. Even during the Holocaust, they did not emigrate. By 1948, Jews in Palestine were no more than 640,000, most of them from Europe,” he said.
He also falsely claimed that Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion forcibly “flew in” Jews from Yemen and Iraq to the country against their will in order to swell the nascent Jewish state’s population.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas was helping the Jewish state by openly dismissing any Jewish connection to Israel.
“He exposed what we have been saying all the time, that the root of the conflict is the basic refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any borders,” Netanyahu said from New Delhi, India, where he is on an official visit.