(May 2, 2018 / JNS) The U.S. Ambassador to Israel on Tuesday joined Israeli leaders in condemning statements by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday stating that Jewish “social behavior” sparked the Holocaust.
In a tweet, Ambassador David Friedman said that “Abu Mazen [Abbas] 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.’ To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don’t have peace, think again.”
U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt called the remarks “very unfortunate, very distressing and terribly disheartening,” saying they “must be unconditionally condemned by all.”
Abbas’s long-winded speech in Front of the Palestinian National Council on Monday included an attempt to prove that the Jewish people had no ties to the Land of Israel. And though Friedman accused Abbas of hitting a “new low” in his remarks regarding the Holocaust, the P.A. leader’s 1982 doctoral thesis titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” attempted to show that Zionists were complicit in the Holocaust, and that the number of Jewish victims was drastically overestimated.
Israeli Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett said “Abbas’s body is drenched with anti-Semitism, from head to toe. He continues the tradition of his predecessors, the Grand Mufti who was a friend of Hitler, and Arafat, an arch-murderer of Jews. He fills the minds of the next generation with the poison of anti-Semitism.”