Friedman: Abbas has reached a new low

U.S. Ambassador rips PA chairman over speech in which he asserted the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

David Friedman
David Friedman
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman ripped Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, after Abbas said in a speech the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism, but by the “social behavior” of the Jews, including money-lending.

“Abu Mazen has reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their ‘social behavior relating to interest and banks.’ To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don't have peace, think again,” tweeted Friedman.

Jason Greenblatt, the U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations, also criticized Abbas’s remarks.

“President Abbas’ remarks yesterday in Ramallah at the opening of the Palestinian National Congress must be unconditionally condemned by all. They are very unfortunate, very distressing & terribly disheartening. Peace cannot be built on this kind of foundation,” he tweeted.

In the speech, made by Abbas at a rare session of the Palestinian National Council, he regurgitated a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in what he called a “history lesson,” seeking to disprove the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.

Abbas backed his story with three points made by Jewish writers and historians, starting with the theory that Ashkenazi Jews are not descendants of the ancient Israelite, and that European Jews therefore had “no historical ties” to the Land of Israel.

He went on to claim the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism but rather of the Jews “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”

The PA chairman has long been accused of anti-Semitism and even of Holocaust denial. In 1982 he published his doctoral dissertation in which he claimed that the publications on the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust were "exaggerated" and claimed that Zionist leaders worked with the Nazis.

Abbas recently insulted Friedman himself, calling him a "son of a dog" and a "settler."

Friedman later fired back, saying, "Three Jews were killed in cold blood by the Palestinian terrorists, and the reaction from the Palestinian Authority was deafening. No condemnation whatsoever. I pointed that out, without further adjectives, without further commentary."

"Abu Mazen (Abbas) chose to respond. ... His response was to refer to me as the 'son of a dog.' Anti-Semitism, or political discourse? Not for me to judge. I'll leave that all up to you."