The new United Nations Security General, António Guterres, has enraged the Palestinian Authority after making statements about the Temple Mount and the way Israel is treated by UN member states. The Palestinian outrage began on Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January), when Guterres was given an impassioned speech about the Holocaust in the UN General Assembly. This was a powerful speech that addressed the root cause of the Holocaust – anti-Semitism. He looked back at anti-Semitism of the past and showing the constant instances of anti-Semitism throughout history, from ancient times until today.
While the Palestinian Authority, who continue those anti-Semitic attitudes, were likely to be outraged by the whole speech. (After all, Mahmoud Abbas wrote an entire book that tried to deny/revise the Holocaust). There was one line, however, that caused Palestinian outrage to overflow. That line was when Guterres said, “Imperial Rome not only destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, but also made Jews pariahs in many ways.” He pointed out the historic fact that there was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and that Jews lived in Jerusalem long before the Palestinians were ever on the scene. Abbas’ Fatah party responded with outrage claiming that his comments were “an assault on Palestinian’s rights to the city”.