Ma'an News Agency
May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The warm reception of the Israeli prime Minister at the US Congress was "pathetic," President Abbas' secretary-general At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim said Wednesday.

Benjamin Netanyahu entered Congress to applause the day before, and received more than 25 standing ovations during a speech in which he ruled out international demands to return to the 1967 borders or share Jerusalem, and called on Mahmoud Abbas to "tear up" the reconciliation agreement his Fatah party signed two weeks ago with rival faction Hamas.

"We felt as we watched the reception that we were watching a totalitarian parliament," Abdul-Rahim said.

The US lawmakers' reaction to Netanyahu gave the impression that the body wholly supported the Israeli premier's rejection of Obama's plan for a just peace in the region, the presidential official said.

Abdul-Rahim added that the welcome offended the American people more than anybody else.

"I believe if George Washington or Abraham Lincoln rose from the dead, they wouldn’t have received that warm welcome. This can only bolster the extremist right wing in Israel and support their efforts to blow up the peace process," he said.

The official described Palestinians as having already given up on US Congress, saying "but we did not expect such a caricatured and pathetic image."

He said that Netanyahu’s speech before Congress had destroyed all hopes to achieve peace, and lamented that in spite of this he was received with standing ovations and applause.

On Tuesday, PLO leader Saeb Erekat had also criticized the US Congress' applause for Netanyahu, saying the speech showed the prime minister "is not man of peace."


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