Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

3 key quotes from this weekend's fraying Israel-Palestinaian peace effort

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1. "What happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime known by mankind in modern times." — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, quoted Sunday by the Palestinian government news service, WAFA, before the beginning of Israel's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. This was the strongest statement about the Holocaust from a Palestinian leader; Holocaust denialism is not uncommon in the Arab world, and many Palestinians especially are reluctant to acknowledge the historical suffering of Europe's Jews out of concern it will harm their negotiating position.

2. "President Abbas can't have it both ways. He can't say the Holocaust was terrible, but at the same time embrace those who deny the Holocaust and seek to perpetrate another destruction of the Jewish people." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to CNN, on Sunday, referring to Abbas' efforts to form a unity government with rival faction Hamas.

3. "A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second class citizens — or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.... The reports of the demise of the peace process have consistently been misunderstood and misreported. And even we are now getting to the moment of obvious confrontation and hiatus, but I would far from declare it dead." — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, to world leaders at the Trilateral Commission, on Friday, in leaked audio obtained by The Daily Beast. The reference to "apartheid" rankled Israeli advocacy groups in the U.S., The Daily Beast's Josh Rogin reports, "and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well."