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Abbas Says Jews Not Killed in Holocaust for Being Jewish, but for ‘Usury and Money’

Mahmoud Abbas has been the President of the Palestinian Authority since 2005.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. UPI/Debbie Hill
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. UPI/Debbie Hill

In a recent translated speech reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made several controversial statements, reigniting concerns of his frequent use of Holocaust minimization.

During his address at the Fatah party's Revolutionary Council last month, MEMRI reported that the Palestinian president repeated several antisemitic canards.

First, Abbas resurrected the long-debunked conspiracy theory that Adolf Hitler targeted Jews not out of enmity toward Judaism but because of their purported role as moneylenders. Abbas told the gathering that "Hitler fought the Jews because they dealt with usury and money, not because of antisemitism."

In addition, Abbas reportedly went on to invoke the Nazi-era 'stab-in-the-back' myth by suggesting that Hitler's motivations were compelled by the belief that German Jews were "engaged in sabotage, and this is why he hated them."

Furthermore, the report stated that Abbas reiterated his baseless belief that the Ashkenazi people are not the descendants of Jews from ancient Israel but rather a Turkic group known as the Khazars who converted to Judaism. This theory has been disavowed by credible historical research.

Abbas's antisemitic rhetoric has sparked outrage in the past.

Last year, during a press conference in Germany with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, he controversially accused Israel of perpetrating "50 Holocausts."

On Wednesday, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, strongly criticized Abbas following the publication of the P.A. leader's comments. On the social media platform formally known as Twitter, Erdan said "the world must wake up and hold Abbas and his Palestinian Authority accountable for the hatred they spew and the ensuing bloodshed it causes."

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