BRUSSELS—‘’The speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy,’’ said Maja Kocijancic, EU spokesperson for foreign affairs. in a statement.
‘’Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution,’’ she said.
The spokesperson for EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini was reacting to Abbas’ speech at a rare meeting of the Palestinian Nationa Council, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) parliament in Ramallah on Monday, in, which he said that the Jewish “social function” in 20th century Europe, such as money lending, caused animosity towards them which led to the Holocaust, the Nazi genocide of six million Jews.
He cited what he said were books by “Jewish Zionist authors” for the claim. Among others he quoted the controversial The Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler, which claims that Askenazi Jews, of European ancestry, are not real Jews, but descendants of the Khazars. He denied that Ashkenazi Jews count as a Semitic people.
He called Israel “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism” and said “those who sought a Jewish state weren’t Jews.”
He stated that the Holocaust was not a result of anti-Semitism, but the fault of Jewish “social behavior,” and “charging interest and financial matters,” and asserted that Adolf Hitler had actually facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel.
The Holocaust has been a long time fascination for Abbas. His doctoral thesis, “The Connection Between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement 1933–1945,” was completed in 1982 for the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, and published in 1984 as an Arabic book, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism. He asserted that Zionists had been complicit in the Holocaust, which Abbas said was far overblown in scope.
In her statement, the EU spokesperson stressed that the Holocaust and World War Two ‘’have defined Europe’s modern history like no other event.’’
‘’Holocaust education remains central to building up resilience against all forms of hatred in our societies. Antisemitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies. The European Union remains committed to combat any form of anti-Semitism and any attempt to condone, justify or grossly trivialise the Holocaust.’’