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Mahmoud Abbas apologises for saying Holocaust was caused by money-lending Jews

Palestinian President condemns antisemitism and says he wants to reiterate his 'full respect' for the Jewish faith

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Flash 90)

    Mahmoud Abbas has apologised for remarks to the Palestinian National Congress earlier this week in which he suggested the Holocaust was caused by money-lending Jews.

    The Palestinian President also condemned antisemitism and described the Holocaust as "the most heinous crime in history".

    His statement came after his speech on Monday was widely condemned in Israel and beyond.

    "If people were offended by my statement in front of the PNC, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them," Mr Abbas said on Friday.

    "I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths.

    "I would also like to reiterate our long held condemnation of the Holocaust, as the most heinous crime in history, and express our sympathy with its victims.

    "Likewise, we condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms, and confirm our commitment to the two-state solution, and to live side by side in peace and security."

    During his length speech on Monday, Mr Abbas had described what he termed the causes of antisemitism in Europe in the 20th century, saying these views were based on books written by Jewish authors.

    “The conclusion of these books is that animosity toward Jews was not because of their religion, but because of their social activities,” he said, listing money-lending among them.

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