JERUSALEM, Israel – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas apologized for his comments earlier this week at a major Palestinian meeting. Following his statements, both Israeli and world leaders condemned his comments blaming Jews for the Holocaust. Some are even calling the PA leader to step down.
Abbas made the statements during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council.
He said, "The hatred of the Jews is not due to their religion but rather due to their social role. If so, it's a different issue. Therefore the Jewish problem that was common in all of the states of Europe against the Jews was not due to their religion but rather due to their social role that was connected to usury and banks and so for forth."
Outrage at Abbas's remarks came from all over.
Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, forcefully condemned Abbas for blaming the Holocaust not on anti-Semitism but for the "social behavior" of Jews who dealt in loans and banking.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted,
Abu Mazen again recited the most contemptible anti-Semitic canards.
Apparently the Holocaust-denier is still a Holocaust-denier.
I call on the international community to condemn Abu Mazen's severe anti-Semitism; the time has come for it to pass from the world.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) May 2, 2018
The head of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) slammed Abbas and said, "All forms of anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial and relativization [sic], are unacceptable."
Even the New York Times called for Abbas to step down.
In an editorial entitled, "Let Abbas's vile words be his last as Palestinian leader, the paper said, "Mr. Abbas's vile speech was a new low and by succumbing to such dark, corrosive instincts he showed that it is time for him to leave office."
It is uncertain whether Abbas will remain in power, but despite his comments, the Palestinian National Council reelected him as chairman of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization).
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