Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech claiming Adolf Hitler was not an antisemite, and that the Jews of Europe were not killed because they were Jews, but for their “role in society,” including “usury.”
Abbas’s remarks to the leadership of his supposedly “moderate” Fatah party were delivered in August, but were translated on Sunday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Hitler Fought the European Jews Because of Their Usury, Money Dealings, It Was Not about Antisemitism; Jews from Arab Countries Did Not Want to Emigrate, But Were Forced to Do So by Israel #Antisemitism @PalestinePMO pic.twitter.com/k75UmycuyM
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) September 6, 2023
MEMRI reported that Abbas said:
They say that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true. It was clearly explained that [the Europeans] fought [the Jews] because of their social role, and not their religion. Several authors wrote about this. Even Karl Marx said this was not true. He said that the enmity was not directed at Judaism as a religion, but to Judaism for is social role. The [Europeans] fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money, and so on and so forth.
Even Hitler… Everybody knows that during World War I, Hitler was a sergeant. He said he fought the Jews because they were dealing with usury and money. In his view, they were engaged in sabotage, and this is why he hated them. We just want to make this point clear. This was not about Semitism and antisemitism.
Abbas also claimed that Eastern European Jews were not “Semites,” and therefore Hitler was not antisemitic. In fact, the term “antisemite” was invented specifically to refer to European Jews in racial, instead of religious, terms.
The Palestinian leader has a long history of Holocaust denial, dating back to his doctoral thesis, which disputed the number of Jews who were killed by the Nazis. He has previously apologized for remarks similar to his recent ones.
Some Palestinian leaders resent the role of the Holocaust in providing a justification for the existence of Israel as a potential refuge for Jews fleeing persecution. Palestinian radicals have vowed to eliminate Israel and the Jews in it.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.