'Abbas says one thing in English, another in Arabic

Knesset Speaker tells EU foreign policy chief not to be taken in by PA leader's 'double-speak.'

Yoni Kempinski, Brussels ,

Edelstein and Mogherini
Edelstein and Mogherini
Knesset Spokesperson

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein met with European Union Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini Tuesday.

Edelstein described the meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, as cordial.

The Knesset Speaker asked Mogherini to respond to the two-hour anti-Semitic rant Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave last week.

"Abbas said that Israel is a colonial project and I would expect a strong reaction from the EU," Edelstein said.

He warned Mogherini not to be taken in by Abbas' pledges in the international arena to pursue peace, as the Palestinian Authority chairman says exactly the opposite when addressing his own people.

"We must pay attention to Abbas' 'doublespeak.' as he speaks one way in English and another in Arabic."

Addressing the opening of a two-day meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Central Council in Ramallah on Janurary 14,Abbas excoriated both President Donald Trump over his historic December 6th recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the State of Israel and Zionism.

Abbas stated in his speech that Zionism was a European colonial project dating back to the time of Oliver Cromwell and had nothing to do with Judaism, that Zionists cooperated with the Nazis, and uttered an Arabic imprecation hoping that US President Donald Trump's "house" is "destroyed."

Edelstein's warning comes after Abbas' meeting with Mogherini Monday in which Abbas reportedly received a pledge that the EU would support his vision for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

The Knesset Speaker also stated that the EU must take a stronger stand against Iran's aggression and pursuit of nuclear weapons.

"I heard on Monday that Vice President Michael Pence is talking about Iran and says that the US will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power," he said. "I would like to hear how your agreement with Iran gives cover and confidence that Iran will not be like that."

Edelstein added that "processes that increase Iranian involvement in the Middle East are worrisome and it is important for us to hear a clear message of reducing Iranian involvement in the region and certainly preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

He also addressed the rising tide of anti-Semitism sweeping Europe. "We have not yet experienced a year of declining incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe and the trend of immigration is clear, and it is important that we appreciate the fact that synagogues in Europe are secured with armed people, but it also indicates the depth and strength of the problem."

Mogherini reiterated the EU's commitment to Israel's security and noted the importance of an open and sincere dialogue between Israel and the EU, emphasizing the unity and cooperation that already exists.