Palestinian leader Abbas roundly condemned for saying Holocaust caused by Jewish financial activity

  • Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has drawn wide rebuke for suggesting that the Holocaust carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II was brought on by the financial practices of Jewish Europeans.
  • Abbas said, in reference to the Holocaust, “the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [money-lending] and banking and such.”
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the European Union’s foreign service both condemned the comments as anti-Semitic.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has drawn wide rebuke for suggesting that the Holocaust carried out by Nazi Germany during World War II was brought on by the financial practices of Jewish Europeans.

Speaking to a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in the West Bank, Abbas said in reference to the Holocaust “the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [money-lending] and banking and such,” according to the BBC.

Abbas, who has a history of Holocaust denial, went on to say that Jewish Europeans killed in the Holocaust did not share any relation to the Semitic, or Jewish people.

“Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, gave another anti-Semitic speech. With utmost ignorance and brazen gall, he claimed that European Jews were persecuted and murdered not because they were Jews but because they gave loans with interest,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted in response.

“Apparently the Holocaust denier is still a Holocaust denier. I call on the international community to condemn his severe anti-Semitism; the time has come for it to pass from the world,” Netanyahu continued.

The European Union’s foreign service, which often finds itself at odds with Israel, also condemned the remarks in unusually harsh terms, saying Abbas’ remarks“contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.”

“Antisemitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies,” it continued.

As leader of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas represents the main figure representing Palestinians in potential peace talks with Isreal.

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