“I condemn your comments in the strongest possible terms; no cause can justify revisionism and negationism. As you know, the Holocaust is part of the history of Paris,” Anne Hidalgo wrote in a letter to the Palestinian Authority President.
“The remarks you made are contrary to our universal values and to the historical truth of the Shoah,’’ wrote Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo as she revoked the prestigious Medal of the City of Paris awarded to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2015.
In a letter to Abbas, Hidalgo wrote that she is revoking Abbas’ medal, known in French as La médaille Grand Vermeil de Paris, due to his recent comments in which he expressed a “clear desire to deny the genocide to which the Jewish populations of Europe were victims at the hands of the Nazi regime.”
The decision comes after the Palestinian leader’s remarks in which he said that ‘’Hitler did not kill Jews out of anti-Semitism,’’ in a speech on August 26.
He claimed that Hitler had massacred the Jews because of their “social role” as moneylenders, and not because of hostility to Judaism. He had also declared that Ashkenazi Jews “are not Semites.”
“I condemn your comments in the strongest possible terms; no cause can justify revisionism and negationism. As you know, the Holocaust is part of the history of Paris,” Hidalgo wrote to Abbas.
“In our city, during World War II, tens of thousands of children, women and men of the Jewish faith were rounded up, deported and then exterminated in death camps.”
Hidalgo did stress however that Paris remains a “partner” of Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jenin, and that cooperation between the French capital and Palestinian cities which “contributes to the peace process in the Middle East” will continue.
Abbas received the medal, which also made him an honorary citizen of the city, almost exactly eight years ago in “recognition of his actions towards finding peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.’’
The European Union, France and US special envoy against anti-Semitism Deborah Lipstadt strongly condemned Abbas’ latest remarks. In a statement, the EU said that Abbas’s speech “contained false and extremely misleading remarks about Jews and anti-Semitism”. Such historical distortions are inflammatory [and]play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution. They trivialize the Holocaust and are an insult to the millions of victims and their families”. The French Consulate General in Jerusalem also condemned Abbas’s remarks in a statement on X (formerly Twitter), calling them “totally unacceptable”.