Syrian President Says Israelis Worse Than Nazis

Syrian President Bashar Assad held out little hope of reaching a peace deal with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, reiterating accusations Thursday that the Israelis have surpassed the Nazis in their racism.

Speaking to reporters in Spain on the second day of his European tour, Assad said "Israeli racism surpasses Nazism."

He cited the recent killing of hundreds of Palestinians by Israeli troops, calls from within Israel to eliminate Palestinians from the region and for those living in Israel to wear distinctive tags as Jews did in Nazi Germany as examples.

"I leave it to you to decide whether this is racism or civilization," Assad said, echoing remarks he made at an Arab summit in March. Assad has repeatedly likened Israelis' treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis' treatment of Jews.