Lieberman likens European attitude toward Hamas to 1930s inaction against Nazis

In a radio interview broadcast on Tuesday, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused Europe of behaving like it did prior to the Holocaust. Liebermann said Europe had turned a blind eye to a speech by Hamas leader Khaled Mashal last weekend in which he had said that the Palestinians would not "cede an inch" of the land of Israel. "Once again, Europe has ignored calls for Israel's destruction," the foreign minister told public radio, adding: “We already saw this at the end of the 1930s and at the beginning of the 1940s when Europe knew what was going on in the concentration camps and it did not act.

Referring to Mohamed Merah, who murdered three Jewish schoolchildren and a teacher in Toulouse in March, Liebermann said: "When Jews are being sacrificed, you have to ask who is next. In Toulouse, the terrorist who killed Jewish children also killed French soldiers. Terrorism attacks Jews but it targets all countries and Western values.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also lamented the "deafening silence" by many countries toward the Mashal speech. Speaking to foreign reporters, Netanyahu accused the international community of double standards, condemning settlements that had not yet been built in the West Bank while standing quiet during Meshal's visit to the Gaza Strip.

In his radio interview, Lieberman also attacked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for failing to publicly condemn Meshal's speech and for continuing to pursue reconciliation efforts with Hamas.

Lieberman's comments provoked a rebuke by Yitzhak Herzog, the number two in the opposition Labor party, who accused the foreign minister of spreading "fear and anguish among Israelis by establishing a link between the current situation and the Holocaust,” according to AFP. Herzog said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to revive a controversial settlement plan in the West Bank was isolating Israel internationally and weakened Abbas’ position while strengthening Hamas.
 

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