Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Palestinian leader Abbas offers apology for remarks on Jews | Arab News |

Ramallah - Palestinian Territory: President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday offered an apology after he was criticized for anti-Semitism for suggesting that historic persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct, not by their religion.

Abbas condemned anti-Semitism and called the Holocaust the "most heinous crime in history" in a statement issued by his office in Ramallah after a four-day meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), at which he had made the remarks.

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

"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."

Abbas, 82, was excoriated by Israeli and Jewish leaders and diplomats who accused him of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial for his remarks on Monday during his opening speech to the PNC, the de facto parliament of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In a lengthy section about history, he said that Jews living in Europe had suffered massacres "every 10 to 15 years in some country since the 11th century and until the Holocaust."

Abbas apologizes to Jews 'if they were offended' by anti-Semitic remarks | Ynet News |

The Khazar Kingdom, Abbas said, eventually collapsed and its subjects spread throughout Europe. Those subjects, Abbas asserted, are the Ashkenazi Jews.

"They have no relationship to Semitic culture, Abraham, Jacob and others," Abbas claimed.

He also compared the treatment of European Jews to that of Jews who lived in Arab nations, saying the latter never suffered from persecution in the 1,400 years they lived there.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov called Abbas' comments "deeply disturbing".

President Reuven Rivlin questioned how Abbas could be considered a legitimate peace partner in light of his speech.

"How can a leader who expresses such dark anti-Semitic ideas present himself as a partner in peace?" Rivlin asked during a state visit to Ethiopia.

The European Union's foreign service also condemned Abbas's "unacceptable" remarks, echoing criticism by PM Benjamin Netanyahu. US officials also condemned on Tuesday night Abbas's speech.

by Oui on Fri May 4th, 2018 at 01:22:31 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series