Palestinian leader's speech condemned as anti-Semitic

Palestinian leader's speech condemned as anti-Semitic

Palestinian leader's speech condemned as anti-Semitic

Alistair Burt said Mahmoud Abbas's remarks, at a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah on Monday, were "deeply concerning". "The hatred towards the Jews is not because of their religion but because of their social roles related to taxes and banks".

Abbas touched on a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during what he called a "history lesson", attempting to prove that the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is false.

Abbas also said that most of Europe's Jews thought their money was more important than their lives because they stayed put.

The "proof" that it was not because they were Jews, he asserted, "is that there were Jews in Arab countries".

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Abbas's comments came at the opening of the Palestinian National Congress, when he said Jews had been killed throughout history due to their "social function" in areas such as banking.

Abbas, elected to a four-year term in 2005 but who has remained in office in the absence of fresh elections, had not responded to the condemnations.

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On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described remarks made by Abbas at an ongoing meeting of the Palestinian National Council as "anti-Semitic".

Abbas also appeared to dismiss media reports quoting Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as saying the Palestinians should stop complaining and accept what they are being offered by the Trump administration.

Since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015, the Labour party has been beset with antisemitism scandals. The Jewish community held a series of street protests in response, demanding Corbyn take serious action on the issue.

In addition to the Maas, at the moment, condemning Abbas said about the Holocaust has already spoken to the US Ambassador in Israel, the foreign Ministry of the European Union, the memorial of the Catastrophe Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Museum of the United States. His 1982 doctoral dissertation was titled "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism", and he has in the past been accused of denying the scope of the Holocaust.

US Jewish groups unanimously joined in the condemnation.

Left-wing lobby J Street stated, "There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of incendiary rhetoric".

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