Palestinian Leader’s Antisemitic Comments Cause Uproar

Palestinian Chief’s Antisemitic Feedback Trigger Uproar

Video has emerged of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, not too long ago asserting that European Jews had been persecuted by Hitler due to what he mentioned had been their predatory lending practices, reasonably than their faith.

Mr. Abbas’s false declare drew swift condemnation from Israeli and European officers. It additionally fueled accusations that Mr. Abbas — an architect of interim peace agreements between Israelis and Palestinians within the Nineteen Nineties — shouldn’t be genuinely dedicated to resolving the continuing battle.

In a speech late final month, Mr. Abbas mentioned: “They are saying that Hitler killed the Jews as a result of they had been Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews as a result of they had been Jews.”

“No,” Mr. Abbas added. Jews had been persecuted, he continued, due to “their social function, which needed to do with usury, cash, and so forth.”

Mr. Abbas additionally repeated a extensively discredited principle that European, or Ashkenazi, Jews don’t have any historic roots within the Center East. As an alternative, Mr. Abbas claimed that European Jews had been the descendants of a nomadic Turkic tribe that transformed to Judaism throughout the medieval interval, and subsequently weren’t victims of antisemitism.

“Once we hear them discuss Semitism and antisemitism — the Ashkenazi Jews, no less than, are usually not Semites,” Mr. Abbas mentioned.

Mr. Abbas’s feedback had been broadcast dwell on Palestinian tv two weeks in the past, in a speech to members of his secular political occasion, Fatah,

The remarks had been delivered to a wider viewers on Wednesday, when the Center East Media Analysis Institute, a Washington-based monitoring group that primarily interprets extremist feedback by Arab and Iranian leaders, distributed a subtitled model of Mr. Abbas’s speech.

Mr. Abbas is the president of the Palestinian Authority, the semiautonomous physique that has administered components of the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution because the Nineteen Nineties, when the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships signed interim peace accords.

His feedback illustrated why he has developed a checkered repute amongst Israeli and Western companions. Mr. Abbas was one of many chief negotiators within the peace course of, and infrequently is credited with serving to to cut back tensions following a wave of violence within the 2000s. At occasions, he has additionally described the Holocaust as against the law in opposition to humanity.

However Mr. Abbas additionally has an extended historical past of antisemitic remarks. He made related feedback in 2018 about usury and Ashkenazi Jews, and final yr he accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” in opposition to Palestinians.

In 1984 he printed a e-book wherein he condemned the Holocaust but in addition cited historians who disputed the extensively accepted loss of life toll of as many as six million Jews.

“That is the true face of Palestinian ‘management,’” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, wrote on social media in response to Mr. Abbas’s newest speech.

“It’s no surprise that mere hours in the past a Palestinian teenage terrorist hacked harmless Israelis with a meat cleaver,” Mr. Erdan added, referring to an assault on Wednesday within the Previous Metropolis of Jerusalem that wounded no less than two individuals.

The European Union mentioned in a press release that Mr. Abbas’s “historic distortions are inflammatory, deeply offensive, can solely serve to exacerbate tensions within the area and serve no-one’s pursuits.”

The assertion added: “They play into the arms of those that are not looking for a two-state resolution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated for.”

Aaron Boxerman contributed reporting.

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