German-Palestinian group blasts Abbas for Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism

In a startling public accusation, a Palestinian organization in Germany rejected the Palestinian president’s remarks as anti-Semitic and objectionable.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The German-Palestinian Society, or DPG, condemned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday for blaming the Holocaust on what he called the Jews’ “social” conduct, and for denying any historical Jewish connection to the land of Israel, the JTA reported Wednesday.

During his 90-minute address Monday to a meeting of the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Abbas rewrote recent history when he said the Holocaust was the fault of the Jews due to their “social function which relates to usury and banking and such.”

He also denied that Jews ever lived in Israel, claimed the whole basis of the Zionist movement was a lie, and characterized the Jewish state as “a colonialist enterprise, aimed at planting a foreign body in this region.”

The DPG released a statement in which it said that it “dissociates itself clearly and unequivocally” from the PA leader’s discourse, calling it a “speech riddled with anti-Semitic remarks.”

According to JTA, the DPG’s statement continued, “To suggest that Jews in some way share a responsibility for the Holocaust is a grotesque distortion of historical facts. The claim that the Jewish people have no roots in the Holy Land is equally erroneous.”

The DPG’s statement represents a rare moment when a pro-Palestinian lobbying group, in a liberal, European country, challenged a Palestinian leader’s falsehoods. The DPG’s mission statement, according to its website, calls for a peaceful dialogue to work for “a democratic and pluralistic community in Palestine that can live in peace and friendship with all its neighbors, including Israel.”

Certainly, Abbas’ statements triggered blanket condemnation from every Jewish political party in Israel, and even from extreme left-wing Jewish organizations such as J Street. In an unusual move, the EU also condemned Abbas, with the European External Action Service putting out a statement in which it said that Abbas’ speech “contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, summed up the government’s view in a pithy tweet: “A man who denies the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel that is thousands of years old, blames the Jews for the Holocaust and claims that Hitler helped Jews has lost all connection to reality and does not want peace.”