SWC Condemns Palestinian Authority President’s Remarks Blaming The Holocaust On ‘Jewish Behavior’

September 8, 2023

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks during an address to the Fatah Revolutionary Council in which he said that Adolf Hitler killed European Jews not because of anti-Semitism, but because of their “social functions” in society, such as money lending.

“These people were fought because of their social function related to money, usury,” Abbas said in the speech. “From Hitler’s point of view, they were sabotaging, and therefore he hated them.”

Abbas also accused Ashkenazi Jews of not being of Middle Eastern origin, putting forward a long abandoned historical theory that European Ashkenazi Jews were not descended from the ancient Israelites but from 8th Century converts to Judaism among the Khazars, a nomadic Turkic people. 

"The truth that we should spread to the world is that European Jews are not Semites. They have nothing to do with Semitism," he said. "As for the Eastern Jews, they are Semites," he added, referring to Mizrachi Jews from the wider Middle East.

“The next generation of Palestinian leaders - including those who want Abbas as president-for-life - are watching to see if this anti-Semitic outburst carries any ramifications. It does for Jewish people inside and outside Israel,” stated SWC Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action, Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

For further information, please email Michele Alkin, Director of Global Communications at malkin@wiesenthal.com or Shawn Rodgers at srodgers@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).

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