Joining Chorus of Criticism, Yad Vashem Slams Abbas Speech as 'Fundamentally' anti-Semitic

Polish Jews participate in a prayer at a Jewish cemetery

Waiting for the First Stone: Poland's Jews Anxious Amid Rise in Anti Semitism AFP 2018 JANEK SKARZYNSKI

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman ripped Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, after Abbas said in a speech the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism, but by the "social behavior" of the Jews, including money-lending.

Jewish groups and diplomats also condemned Abbas' comments, made in a speech on Monday to the Palestinian National Council, that Jews had suffered historically not due to their religion but because they had served as bankers and money lenders.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas' remarks were "the pinnacle of ignorance" and that the Palestinian leader was "again reciting the most disgraceful anti-Semitic slogans". "I call on the global community to condemn his severe anti-Semitism; the time has come for it to pass from the world", Netanyahu continued.

Abbas, who called his speech a "history lesson", also invoked an agreement whereby Hitler facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel.

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Over the years Abbas occasionally seemed to retreat from his dubious theories, "but the trend for some time has been depressingly downward", The New York Times Board writes, explaining that "The dream of an independent Palestine faded further away and Mr. Abbas came under increasing pressure".

Remarks by the Palestinian president about the causes of 20th century anti-Semitism in Europe were sharply criticized as anti-Semitic and drew widespread condemnations from Israel and around the world Wednesday.

"This is why attempts to rewrite, downplay or deny it are risky", he said.

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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Abbas wound up his lengthy speech by restating his rejection of US President Donald Trump, both the peace plan and the embassy move in less than two weeks. Apparently in the Arab world, too, Jews brought upon themselves the anti-Jewish persecution and violence they so often faced.

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.

A veteran member of Fatah, the dominant faction of the PLO, Abbas served for decades as a loyal deputy of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

"Fatah's leader [Abbas] has been struggling for decades to achieve national independence by peaceful means", the statement quoted Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal as saying. In 1982, Abbas titled his doctoral thesis, "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism".

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