COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES, ISTANBUL
Palestine’s foreign ministry has warned against Israel’s use of the Holocaust to cover up its crimes against Palestinians and the occupation of Palestinian territories.
In a Wednesday press release, the foreign ministry urged the participants of the fifth World Holocaust Forum, held Thursday in Jerusalem, to be careful with “the political contexts Israel is trying to employ and exploit on this occasion.”
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of the [Israeli] occupation are using the forum to conceal the true face of Israel as it occupies the land of another country, settles there and commits the most heinous crimes against the Palestinian people that amounted to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the statement read.
“The international community, which was previously unable to prevent the Holocaust from occurring, must pay close attention to the suffering of the Palestinian people under the occupation,” it added. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry renewed “its strong condemnation of the Holocaust.”
While the focus in Jerusalem will be on the Holocaust and its haunting legacy, modern politics have impacted the event, held at a time of soaring U.S.-Iranian tensions and ahead of Israel’s March general election. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged action against “the tyrants of Tehran” during a Holocaust memorial speech Thursday, comparing what he considers the threat from Iran to that once posed by Nazi Germany. “There will not be another Holocaust,” Netanyahu told world leaders in Jerusalem, lamenting “that we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet, a regime that openly seeks to develop nuclear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state.”
Netanyahu this week drew a direct link between the Nazis’ “Final Solution” to exterminate Europe’s Jews and the threat that Israel says it faces from its arch-foe Iran.