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In a speech in Ramallah Monday night, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stated that the Holocaust was not fueled by European anti-Semitism, but, rather, brought upon by Jews themselves due to their “social behavior,” including money-lending practices. The Palestinian leader also alleged that Adolf Hitler, whose Nazi regime spearheaded the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews during World War Two, facilitated Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine by reaching a deal with the Anglo-Palestine Bank to transfer German Jews’ assets to the then-British-ruled territory. Finally, the PA president claimed that Jews have “no historical ties” to Israel, the creation of which in 1948 he described as a European colonial project.
Abbas has frequently been accused of Holocaust denial, and his 1982 doctoral dissertation was titled, “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.” In it, Abbas minimized the scope of the Nazi genocide, which he attributed to a secret pact with Zionist leaders who he claims encouraged the mass-murder of Jews in order to advance their goal of establishing the state of Israel. The PA boss gave his “history lesson,” as he referred to it, at the opening of the first meeting in almost a decade of the Palestinian National Council, the top legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is recognized by the international community as the official voice of the Palestinian people.
As regards the peace process, Abbas reaffirmed his rejection of the Trump administration’s year-in-the-making peace proposal and, instead of engaging in negotiations, vowed to take unspecified “tough steps” against Israel and the United States. The Palestinian National Council is slated later this week to elect new members to the PLO Executive Committee, an 18-member group that has served in recent years to rubber-stamp Abbas’ policies.