World Jewish Congress Condemns Abbas’ Anti-Semitic Remarks
The World Jewish Congress has denounced Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ so-called “history lesson” to the Palestinian National Council this week, calling his speech a “repugnant litany of propaganda and conspiracies dripping of sheer anti-Semitic incitement and vile.”
In a televised address to the Palestinian National Council, Abbas seemed to assert that the Nazi’s mass murder of European Jewry was the justified result of Jewish financial activities, and not rampant anti-Semitism. He stated, during the 90 minute speech. "So, the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such."
Abbas has made statements for years that have called into question the validity of the Holocaust. He has also questioned the number of Jews killed during this dark chapter in history. A student dissertation he wrote in the late 1980’s argued there had been a “secret relationship between Nazism and Zionism.”
Abbas also claimed that Ashkenazi Jews – Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe – were not Semitic and therefore had no connection to the land of Israel. Ashkenazi Jews today make up one of Israel’s biggest communities.
Joining my voice to UN envoy @nmladenov regarding comments by President Abbas. All forms of antisemitism, including Holocaust denial and relativization, are unacceptable. @UNESCO promotes Holocaust education against falsifications of history & combats antisemitism thru education. pic.twitter.com/jTjpssS664— Audrey Azoulay (@AAzoulay) May 3, 2018
President of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, was quick to condemn the diatribe by Mahmoud Abbas issuing the following statement:
“No leader - Arab, Western, or other - should ever question the origins of the Holocaust. The Nazi genocide, history's most shocking crime against humanity, was pure evil. And anyone who suggests otherwise should be ashamed and must apologize."
Many others in the international community have also been quick to condemn Abbas’ remarks. Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the ADL, which campaigns to "stop the defamation of the Jewish people", dismissed the Palestinian leader's remarks as "ahistorical and pseudo-academic assertions".
The European External Action Service, the foreign ministry branch of the EU also condemned Abbas in a statement: “The speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.