Palestinian president widely condemned for 'anti-Semitic' comments

Netanyahu accuses Palestinian president of antisemitism

Netanyahu accuses Palestinian president of antisemitism

The U.S. Ambassador to Israel on Tuesday joined Israeli leaders in condemning statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday stating that Jewish "social behavior" sparked the Holocaust.

The 82-year-old Abbas made the comments during a free-wheeling speech that led to outrage among Israelis, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling him a "Holocaust denier".

While Holocaust deniers say the agreement showed collaboration between the Nazis and Zionist leaders, Holocaust historians like Deborah Lipstadt and Rainer Schulze say it was a narrow, cynical agreement on the Nazis' part, agreed upon by a Zionist group in an attempt to save as many Jews as possible. "I call upon the global community to condemn the grave antisemitism of Abu Mazen [Abbas's nickname], which should have long since passed from this world".

The row comes as relations between the United States and the Palestinian leadership have broken down over the controversial American plan to move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During Abbas' speech, he cited the "Jewish money-loaning businesses and banks" as the cause of the Holocaust. "Instead of blaming the Jews, he should look in his own backyard to the role played by the Grand Mufti in supporting Adolf Hitler's Final Solution", they added.

It should be noted that, as one of the key allies of Abu Mazen in Europe, the German-Palestinian society rarely speaks about it critically.

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Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that Abbas's "anti-Semitism" was "all the more shocking considering that he presents himself as wanting to make peace with Israel".

The New York Times noted that Abbas's failed effort to mend the rift with political rival Hamas, the dwindling prospects for renewed peace talks with Israel, Arab nations' lack of interest in the conflict, a lack of support from his people, and a perception that US President Donald Trump's administration favors Israel have left the Palestinian leader in a desperate position. They were massacred because Jews were bankers, charged usury, "and so on", Mahmoud Abbas said.

Mr Abbas' office declined to comment.

In a rambling speech on Monday, Abbas gave what he called a "history lesson" claiming that Jewish connections to Europe's finance and banking sectors had bred hostility against them. He assumed the leadership of Fatah, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority after Arafat died in 2004.

Abbas has already faced accusations of Holocaust denial based on his 1982 doctoral dissertation titled.

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