JERUSALEM, June 23 (UPI) -- Critics of Israel are attacking its legitimacy and right to exist, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told parliament Wednesday.
Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to engage in direct talks with Israel, Haaretz reported.
"We know that the attacks on Israel are threatening its existence, since we constantly hear people saying 'go back to Poland or Morocco.' They are essentially telling us to dismantle the Zionist enterprise," Netanyahu said.
He was referring to statements by veteran U.S. journalist Helen Thomas, who told a rabbi during a White House gathering that Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine." Asked where they should go, she said "home" and then mentioned Poland and Germany.
The prime minister said the United Nations and other international groups have been one-sided in their criticism, especially in the outcry over Israel's boarding of an aid convoy trying to break the blockade of Gaza. Nine Turkish nationals were killed when Israeli commandos boarded one of the vessels.
"They are essentially saying that the Jewish nation does not have the right to defend itself against the most brutal attacks and it doesn't have the right to prevent additional weapons from entering territories from which it is attacked," he said.