Yad Vashem Slams Abbas for 'Assault' on Holocaust

Kantor president of the European Jewish Congress

Kantor president of the European Jewish Congress

"Abbas' speech in Ramallah are the words of a classic anti-Semite", said Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper of the USA -based Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"Abu Mazen has reached a new low", Ambassador David Friedman tweeted early Wednesday, referring to Abbas by his nickname.

It should also be pointed out that while Israel's detractors among the Palestinian Authority often claim they aren't anti-Semitic, but rather just oppose Israeli policy, Abbas' outburst proves quite the opposite.

"Sadly, Abbas has chosen to assault Holocaust remembrance by attempting to convert the Shoah into a propaganda tool, blatantly falsifying history to the point of accusing the Jewish victims as being responsible for their own murder, and transforming Hitler into a Zionist", Yad Vashem said in a statement on its website.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the remarks were "the pinnacle of ignorance" and that the Palestinian leader was "again reciting the most disgraceful anti-Semitic slogans". "They are very unfortunate, very distressing and terribly disheartening. Peace can not be built on this kind of foundation", he tweeted.

The Holocaust did not occur in a vacuum, it was the result of thousands of years of persecution. In 2016 he gave apparently unscripted remarks to the European Parliament in which he said that "a number of rabbis in Israel made a clear declaration and asked their government to poison water to kill the Palestinians".

The European Union's foreign service, which often finds itself at odds with Israel, also condemned the remarks in unusually harsh terms, saying Abbas' remarks "contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel's legitimacy". "They are in the hands of those who oppose the solution of "two States for two peoples", she said".

Israel's foreign ministry on Wednesday accused Mr Abbas of fueling 'religious and nationalist hatred against the Jewish people and Israel'. "If the Europeans leadership wants to be seen as an honest broker in the peace process and standing against antisemitism then it must do more than merely condemn these remarks".

Responding to the Israeli criticism, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Abbas' words had been "twisted" and that he had been citing the views of some historians.

Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the ADL, said, "Laden with ahistorical and pseudo-academic assertions, the Palestinian president's latest diatribe reflects once again the depth and persistency of the anti-Semitic attitudes he harbors".

Abbas recently insulted Friedman himself, calling him a "son of a dog" and a "settler".

Abbas' office declined to comment.

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