Netanyahu blasts Abbas for making "anti-Semitism" remarks on Holocaust

Palestine leader sparks Israel, US, EU outrage

It called Abbas' address a "speech riddled with anti-Semitic remarks".

The Holocaust did not occur in a vacuum, it was the result of thousands of years of persecution. But why did this happen? "They say 'it is because we are Jews",' he told the hundreds of delegates.

Citing books written by various authors, including communists Karl Marx, Isaac Deutscher and Arthur Koestler, and the Soviet tyrant Stalin, Abbas said: "They say hatred against Jews was not because of their religion, it was because of their social profession".

"Once a Holocaust denier, always a Holocaust denier", the Israeli prime minister said of Abbas on Twitter on Wednesday.

The United States' ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, condemned Abbas' statements, calling them a "new low". In 2016 he gave apparently unscripted remarks to the European Parliament in which he said that "a number of rabbis in Israel made a clear declaration and asked their government to poison water to kill the Palestinians".

The offensive parts of Abbas's Monday speech were not included in the official Palestinian news agency's English press release of it or in most initial global coverage of his speech, The Times of Israel noted. The foreign Minister Heiko Maas reminded the Palestinian leader that his country is responsible for "one of the worst crimes in human history".

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An the UN's special coordinator for the Middle East accused Abbas of repeating "contemptuous anti-Semitic slurs".

Emily Thornberry attended an anti-Semitic speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but failed to condemn his attacks on Jews in her first statement on the event.

Abbas claimed that European Jews had been massacred over the centuries due to their "social behavior related to interests and banks", a common antisemitic trope, and repeated the widely disavowed theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the medieval Khazar converts to Judaism, and not ancient Hebrews, among other statements.

Greenblatt said the comments were "very unfortunate, very distressing & terribly disheartening". Yet Abbas was, in fact, presented with the deal during Olmert's term and rejected it.

On Monday, the Palestinian president blamed the Holocaust and anti-Jewish pogroms throughout history on the Jews themselves.

This, along with the "governing system plagued by corruption and dysfunction" which he oversees, make Abbas an unfit leader for the Palestinians and for any prospective peace process, the editorial states.

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