September 6, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel, Germany Blast Palestinian Leader’s Latest Antisemitic Rant 

September 6, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel, Germany Blast Palestinian Leader’s Latest Antisemitic Rant 

Latest Developments 

The September 6 surfacing of an antisemitic speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas drew swift condemnation from Israel and Germany. Addressing the Fatah Revolutionary Council on August 24, Abbas asserted that Hitler persecuted the Jews not because of their ethnicity or religion but because of their “social role,” which he described as including “usury.” He further repeated the antisemitic theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazari converts and are therefore neither Semites nor subject to antisemitism. The televised remarks were republished by the media monitoring service MEMRI

“Just as Abbas blames the Jews for the Holocaust, he also blames the Jews for all the Middle East’s issues,” said Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Such incitement, Erdan argued, encourages Palestinian terrorism, such as a September 6 attack by a teenager wielding a cleaver outside Jerusalem’s Old City that resulted in three wounded. 

In a separate statement of condemnation, German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert called Abbas’ rant “an insult to the memory of millions of murdered men, women and children. The Palestinians deserve to hear the historical truth from their leader, not such distortions.” 

Expert Analysis 

“This is horrible déjà vu from a Palestinian leader who, in a PhD dissertation, trivialized the Holocaust. In recent years, he also reworked an antisemitic blood libel by alleging, during a speech to the European parliament, that Israeli rabbis had proposed poisoning Palestinian water. Many questions have been asked about Abbas’ statutory fitness to rule, 18 years after he was elected to the presidency. No less pressing should be the questions of his moral and mental fitness.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO 

“In an environment closely watched and chronicled by journalists from around the world, overt Palestinian antisemitism is somehow poorly documented. News gathering remains lopsided in this crowded space.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research 

“Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian politics in the West Bank, has a sizeable corps of international journalists and diplomats. Yet it seems no foreign media deigned to record or report Abbas’ appalling canards when they were first made in full view of an audience and TV cameras. The press and international community consistently turn a blind eye to the antisemitism that is rife in Palestinian society, media, and textbooks and then wonder why Palestinian children murder Jews. This episode is an example of the soft bigotry of low expectations that contribute to Palestinian intransigence.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network 

Palestinian Authority Refuses Israel’s Lifeline to Prevent Collapse,” FDD Flash Brief 

UN ‘Nakba’ Day devolves into antisemitism,” by David May 

Abbas Blames Israel for Rise in Terrorism,” FDD Flash Brief 


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