UK, France condemn anti-Semitic speech by Palestinian leader Abbas

Joining the European Union, the UK and France on Thursday denounced a speech by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, which included anti-Semitic rhetoric.
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas Photo credit: Kremlin

The UK and France on Thursday condemned Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas' recent speech, which included anti-Semitic rhetoric and blamed Jews for the atrocities of the Holocaust.

British Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said Abbas' speech "does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people and is deeply unhelpful to the cause of peace." "At a highly sensitive time in the region, when we must all look forwards and work urgently towards a resolution of the longstanding issues between Israel and the Palestinian people, the fundamentals of peace cannot be built on views of the Holocaust which fly in the face of history," he added.

A spokesperson for the French foreign ministry said France "deplores" Abbas' speech, calling it "false, unfortunate and uncalled for."

Earlier on Thursday, a New York Times editorial called on Abbas to leave office, arguing that, by including conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic myths in his speech, he had “shed all credibility as a trustworthy partner if the Palestinians and Israelis ever again have the nerve to try negotiations."

In his speech on Monday, Abbas said the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism, but rather the result of Jews' own financial and social behavior.



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