The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has condemned antisemitic statements made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a speech on Monday.
Abbas’ speech to the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah contained antisemitism and Holocaust denying slurs, including alleging both the Holocaust and all other antisemitism was occasioned by the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”
Further, he denied that there had ever been “a single incident… against the Jews” in Arab lands, and dismissed Jewish claims for a Jewish homeland and their “longing for Zion”, saying “history says that these words are baseless.”
“Abbas has a long and sad history of Holocaust denial and antisemitism. These latest comments have been rightly met with utter condemnation around the world,” Mark Leibler, AIJAC national chair, said.
“While Abbas has tried to present himself to the world as a reformer and a partner for peace, his well-documented antisemitic tirades over the years – of which this is only the latest – cannot be excused as mere gaffes but rather reflects racist beliefs which sadly are all too common in Palestinian society.”
Abbas’ comments have been rightly criticised by numerous prominent international leaders.
“We welcome statements from around the world that have called out Abbas, repudiating his Holocaust denial as dangerous, his antisemitism as ignorant and his rejections of the Jewish people’s historical and religious connections to the land of Israel as damaging to future peace prospects,” Dr. Colin Rubenstein, AIJAC executive director, said.
“Unfortunately, these sorts of remarks are not new from Abbas. Whether he is making these sorts of comments because he truly believes them, or making them to curry favour with a domestic audience, Abbas has only underlined why a two-state peace based on mutual self-determination and recognition has proven so elusive.”
For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660