(JTA) – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Jews caused the Holocaust with their “social behaviour,” such as money lending.
Speaking Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas also said that Jews do not have a historical connection to the land.
“Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews,” he told the Palestinian National Council, and the “Europeans wanted to bring the Jews here to preserve their interests in the region.”
The council is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization and elects the PLO’s Executive Committee, which makes decisions on all Palestinian issues – in Israel, the West Bank and around the world. New members are expected to be elected to the council during its four-day meeting that began Monday.
Abbas, who called his speech a “history lesson,” also indicated that Adolf Hitler facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel. He claimed that the German leader cut a deal with the Anglo-Palestine Bank, known today as Israel’s Bank Leumi, allowing Jews who moved to the British Mandate of Palestine to transfer all their assets there through the bank.
The Palestinian Authority leader said, however, that most of Europe’s Jews thought their money was more important than their lives because they stayed put.
Abbas has already faced accusations of Holocaust denial based on his 1982 doctoral dissertation titled “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.” The dissertation said the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust is a grossly inflated figure and that the “Zionist” leadership cooperated with the Nazis.
Abbas reiterated that he would not accept an American peace deal in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv later this month.
“We will not accept this deal, and we will not accept the U.S. as the sole broker,” he reportedly said.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Abbas’ speech.
“Laden with a historical and pseudo-academic assertions, the Palestinian president’s latest diatribe reflects, once again, the depth and persistency of the anti-Semitic attitudes he harbours,” the ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.
“With public speeches like these, it is not surprising that under Abbas’ leadership, the Palestinian Authority has failed to renounce and combat Palestinian anti-Semitic incitement, including narratives that Jews are to blame for the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic persecution, and which deny or diminish the millennial Jewish presence in and connection to the Land of Israel.”