'Let Abbas’s vile words be his last as Palestinian leader,' New York Times says

"Abbas's antisemitic tendencies are not new," it continued, referencing Abbas's controversial doctoral thesis which seemed to put into question the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

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May 3, 2018 14:11
1 minute read.

Israel accuses Abbas of antisemitism, Holocaust denial, May 2, 2018 (Reuters)

Israel accuses Abbas of antisemitism, Holocaust denial, May 2, 2018 (Reuters)

 
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In an editorial published Tuesday, The New York Times slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's speech on Monday in which he claimed Jews "social role related to usury and banks" was to blame for millennia of antisemitism, calling on him to step down from his role as a Palestinian leader.

The piece, titled "Let Abbas's vile words be his last as Palestinian leader," asserted that the president has "shed all credibility as a trustworthy partner if the Palestinians and Israelis ever again have the nerve to try negotiations."

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"Abbas's antisemitic tendencies are not new," it continued, referencing Abbas's controversial doctoral thesis which seemed to put into question the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

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.

The second-to-last paragraph deems Monday's "vile speech" a "new low," and says that "by succumbing to such dark, corrosive instincts he showed that it is time for him to leave office."

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman used similar words on Tuesday to condemn Abbas's speech, writing “Abu Mazen has reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their 'social behavior relating to interest and banks.'"

Numerous other public figures also condemned the Palestinian's words.


Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent a letter to the Security Council and asked it to condemn the “hateful” speech, and President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein each blasted the PA president’s speech as well.

The European Jewish Congress called on European officials to cease all contact with Abbas until he apologized.

Abbas's full comments included “From the 11th century until the Holocaust that took place in Germany, the Jews – who moved to Western and Eastern Europe – were subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years. But why did this happen? The Jewish issue that was widespread in all European countries... was not because of their religion, but rather their social role related to usury and banks.”

He has said his remarks were based on the writings of Karl Marx and two other Jewish authors.

Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.

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