Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu lashed out at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday morning following his speech in which he said that the Holocaust was the result of Jewish behavior and not anti-Semitism.
On Monday, Abbas addressed the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah, telling attendees that Jews had suffered historically not because of their religion but because they had served as bankers and money lenders.
Abbas'remarks on Holocaust have been under suspicion for a long time because of his academic work in which he gave space to an argument that disputed the death of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, claiming that less than one million were killed.
“It would appear that, once a Holocaust denier, always a Holocaust denier,” Netanyahu said on Twitter.
“I call upon the international community to condemn the grave anti-Semitism of Abu Mazen (Abbas), which should have long since passed from this world.”
Abbas said in his speech that Jews living in Europe had suffered massacres “every 10 to 15 years in some country since the 11th century and until the Holocaust”.
Citing books written by various authors, Abbas argued: “They say hatred against Jews was not because of their religion, it was because of their social profession. So the Jewish issue that had spread against the Jews across Europe was not because of their religion, it was because of usury and banks.”
Jason Greenblatt, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations, also criticized Abbas’ remarks. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said Abbas revealed his true nature when speaking in Arabic, rather than English.
Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah declined comment on the criticism.