Mahmoud Abbas claims Hitler killed Jews because of their 'social role' instead of religion

The PA leader was accused of Holocaust denialism after making the controversial remarks at his Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council


BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 16: Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, speaks to the media with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (not pictured) following talks at the Chancellery on August 16, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. The two leaders discussed bilateral issues, the current situation in the Palestinian territories as well as perspectives on a possible peace process between Palestine and Israel. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(JNS) Mahmoud Abbas has come under fire after claiming Hitler fought with the Jews 'because of their social role and not because of their religion'.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leader was accused of Holocaust denialism after making the controversial claim during a speech last month at his Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council.

In remarks which appeared on Wednesday, Abbas said: “They say that Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true. 

“It was clearly explained that the Europeans fought the Jews because of their social role, and not their religion.

“Several authors wrote about this. Even Karl Marx said this was not true. He said that the enmity was not directed at Judaism as a religion but to Judaism for its social role.

“The Europeans fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money and so on and so fourth.”

According to a translation of the remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Abbas went on to claim the Jews were one of the causes of Germany’s loss in World War I, a false claim which Hitler initially peddled. 

He said: “Everybody knows that during World War I, Hitler was a sergeant. He said that he fought the Jews because they were dealing with usury and money. In his view, they were engaged in sabotage, and this is why he hated them.

“We just want to make this point clear: This was not about semitism and antisemitism.”

The Palestinian leader also repeated the 'Khazar Myth' that he has peddled often over the years, stating that Ashkenazi Jews descend from Turkish Khazars who converted, rather than biblical Israelites.

He said: “The truth that we should clarify to the world is that European Jews are not Semites. They have nothing to do with semitism.

“The story began in 900 CE, in the Khazar Kingdom on the Caspian Sea. It was a Tatar kingdom that converted to Judaism.

“In the 11th century, this empire collapsed, and all its population left to the north and to the west. They left for Russia and Western and Eastern Europe.

“They spread there, and they are the forefathers of Ashkenazi Jews. So, when we hear them talk about semitism and antisemitism – the Ashkenazi Jews, at least, are not Semites.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said: “This is the true face of Palestinian leadership.

“Just as Abbas blames the Jews for the Holocaust, he also blames the Jews for all the Middle East’s issues.”

The American Jewish Committee also condemned the remarks, adding: “This type of ‘leadership’ only breeds violence, not progress.

“World leaders committed to peace in that region must stop giving Abbas a free pass and condemn his hateful rhetoric.”

In a statement, Yad Vashem branded Abbas' words the worst Holocaust denialism expressed by any leader.

They added: "The agreement with which his speech was accepted by participants in the conference, is no less grave. Such statements cannot be allowed to be accepted without reproach."

The PA leader has made a string of antisemitic claims and incendiary comments about the Holocaust in recent years.

In May, he said Israel “lies like” chief Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

During a press conference in Germany last year, he also accused Israel of perpetrating “50 holocausts”. Israel, Germany, and the US reacted to the statement with outrage.

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