On May 15, 2023, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a Nakba Day speech at the U.N. General Assembly. Abbas said that the U.S. and Britain are to be "blamed" for creating Israel in order to get rid of their Jews, and he claimed that despite Israel's efforts to excavate under the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Israelis have not found any historical or archeological evidence that prove their presence in Jerusalem in the past. In addition, he said that the Israelis continue to lie "like Goebbels." Moreover, he said that the issue of the Palestinian refugees must be solved, and that he himself is a refugee and wants to return to his birth city of Safed.
Mahmoud Abbas: "Britain and the United States, in particular, bear direct moral and political responsibility for the Nakba of the Palestinian people. These two countries participated in turning our people in victims, when they decided to plant a foreign entity in our historical homeland, for their own colonialist purposes.
"The truth is that these countries, the Western countries, wanted to get rid of the Jews and to benefit from them in Palestine. They wanted to kill two birds with one stone.
"Israel has been digging [underneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque] for 30 years, in an attempt to find anything that would prove its [past] existence there, but they did not find anything. It is not me saying this. The Israeli historians and archeologists said this. They said: 'We could not find anything. We have nothing here.' So why lie? They dug underneath Al-Aqsa and above [sic] it... They dug everywhere but did not find anything.
"The false Zionist and Israeli claims continue. They say that Israel made the desert blossom. They say that Palestine used to be a desert, and they made it flourish. They say that they turned it into a heaven on Earth. They cannot avoid lying, but what can they do? They lie and lie, like Goebbels [said]: 'Lie and lie, until people believe it.'
"The issue of the refugees must be resolved. There are refugees and they should return. I am a refugee. I am a Palestinian refugee. I want to return to my town. I cannot live even in Paris or New York. I won't have it. I want Safed. It is such a small town. I want it."