‘Once a Holocaust denier, always a Holocaust denier’: Netanyahu slams Abbas

‘Once a Holocaust denier, always a Holocaust denier’: Netanyahu slams Abbas
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken to Twitter to slam Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who, during a Monday speech, suggested that through their “social role” Jews brought persecution upon themselves.

Netanyahu accused the Palestinian leader of both Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism. "Apparently the Holocaust denier is still a Holocaust denier. I call on the international community to condemn his severe anti-Semitism; the time has come for it to pass from the world," he wrote.

The embattled Israeli PM was making reference to controversial remarks made by Abbas at a rare meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah on Monday. During a 90-minute televised speech, Abbas claimed that the historic persecution of European Jews throughout the centuries was due to their “social role related to usury and banks.”

“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 Jerusalem Post quotes Abbas as saying.

“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 reportedly added.

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Abbas attributed these claims to books written by various Jewish scholars and also said that “such pogroms did not take place in Arab countries, which had Jewish populations.”

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, took to Twitter to respond to the remarks, saying: “They are very unfortunate, very distressing and terribly disheartening. Peace cannot be built on this kind of foundation.”

While US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that the comments represent a “new low.”

Abbas has been accused of Holocaust denial for decades stemming from his 1982 doctorate dissertation entitled“The Secret Relationship between Nazism and the Zionist Movement.”

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