Liberman: Abbas 'Anti-Semite,' Inciting 'Holy War'

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman skewers Abbas over call to prevent Jews to ascend Temple Mount, says he is 'stirring incitement.'

Tova Dvorin, Hezki Baruch ,

Avigdor Liberman (file)
Avigdor Liberman (file)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) called Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas an "anti-Semite" on Saturday, after Abbas called to stop Jews from visiting the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - "by all means."

Abbas is trying to "inflame" tensions in the region, Liberman said. 

"The words reveal, again, the true face of Mahmoud Abbas, the Holocaust denier who talks about a 'Palestinian state free of Jews,'" the Foreign Minister fired. 

Abbas "was, and remains, an anti-Semite wrapped in a nice suit and pleasantries for the international community," he added, accusing the Chairman further of "stirring up incitement against Israel and Jews and calling for a religious war."

Liberman also said that Abbas, by making the comments, is "in one front with extremist Islamic organisations, like IS (Islamic State) and Al-Nusra Front, which sanctify a holy war."

Liberman's comments surface hours after Abbas called all Israelis "settlers" for visiting the site, which is besieged by Arab rioters who have forced Israel's police to close the Mount to Jews over the past several weeks on multiple occasions. 

"It is not enough to say the settlers came, but they must be barred from entering the compound by any means. This is our Aqsa... and they have no right to enter it and desecrate it," Abbas said.

Arab rioting has become a norm on Judaism's holiest site. The site, which is also the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, is under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Waqf, which heavily restricts access to Jews and bans all Jewish worship on the Mount. 

But Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority officially reject the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount - as well as the Western Wall (Kotel) - despite the historic evidence.

Hamas - which is currently in a unity government with the PA - recently called to "shed blood" on the Mount, inciting renewed riots despite Israeli "gestures" to let more than 500 Gazans visit the site. 

Last week, rioting became so bad that Israeli police were forced to lock a band of terrorists in the mosque itself - as they lobbed a heavy cache of rocks and other projectiles at the forces. 

To maintain order, police ordered restrictions on access to the Mount on Friday, and the day passed without incident. A similar restriction on Wednesday was not enough to prevent Arab rioting from succeeding in blocking Jewish entry to the site for Hoshana Raba.

Even women joined in on the attack, brutally beating Border Police officers near the Mount and snatching prayer books from Jews to provoke a poor image of Jews and Israelis, as recent footage reveals. 

Despite this, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has vowed to "maintain the status quo" on the Mount.