PA President Mahmoud Abbas apologized to Jews offended by his recent speech in which he blamed the Jewish people for the Holocaust. In a statement, he wrote, “If people were offended by my statement … especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them.”
“I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths,” he continued. “Likewise, we condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms, and confirm our commitment to the two-state solution, and to live side by side in peace and security.”
Abbas’ comment that the Holocaust “was not because of (the Jews’) religion but because of their function in society, which had to do with usury, banks, and so on,” drew condemnation even from those who had considered him a moderate. A New York Times editorial wrote that Abbas has “shed all credibility as a trustworthy partner if the Palestinians and Israelis ever again have the nerve to try negotiations.”
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