UAE condemns Mahmoud Abbas' claim that Hitler killed Jews because of 'social role'

The UAE foreign minister said the controversial remarks were 'irresponsible'


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)

The UAE foreign minister has condemned Mahmoud Abbas' claims that Hitler fought with the Jews 'because of their social role and not because of their religion'.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan said the remarks on Jews and the Holocaust by the Palestinian Authority (PA) leader that have drawn widespread accusations of antisemitism were “irresponsible”. 

During a speech at his Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council last month, Abbas also claimed the Jews were one of the causes of Germany’s loss in World War I, a false claim which Hitler initially peddled. 

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 Jews. 

He also accused the United States and Great Britain of inventing the idea of Jewish statehood, according to a translation of the remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

In a statement, the UAE foreign ministry said: “Sheikh Abdullah condemned the irresponsible statements made by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas regarding Jews and the Nazi Holocaust, emphasising the importance of tolerance and human brotherhood values in the UAE's approach to building peaceful and prosperous societies. 

“He also underscored the UAE's rejection of hate speech, extremism in all its forms, religious intolerance, racism and racial discrimination.”

The remarks were made during a meeting Al Nahyan had with representatives of Jewish organisations on the side lines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The UAE is understood to be one of the first Arab nations to condemn the remarks by the PA leader. 

Last week, UK foreign secretary James Cleverly said Abbas should not spread “disgusting antisemitic tropes”.

Addressing the World Summit on Counterterrorism in Herzliya, Cleverly said: “When I meet with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, I will make it clear that rather than spreading disgusting antisemitic tropes and outrageous distortions of history, they should be clear in their denouncement of violence.”

He added: “The PA should be clear that there is no acceptance for brutality and terrorism. It should be clear that there is no excuse to target Israelis, particularly Israeli civilians, because that is the only way that peace is possible.”

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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