Abbas apologizes for anti-Semitic remarks

Abbas apologizes for anti-Semitic remarks

The statement also notes that "the Holocaust was the most brutal crime in the history of mankind".

The controversy comes as the ageing Abbas sought to use the Palestinian National Council to reassert his dominance of secular Palestinian politics.

Israel's Holocaust museum and envoys from the European Union and the United Nations joined worldwide condemnation of Abbas' speech.

Abbas' remarks drew an unusual burst of condemnation even from those who once considered him a moderate who could lead Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "With utmost ignorance and brazen gall, he claimed that European Jews were persecuted and murdered not because they were Jews but because they gave loans with interest".

The UN's chief Mideast envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, said Abbas had repeated "some of the most contemptuous anti-Semitic slurs" that did not "serve the interests of the Palestinian people, or of peace in the Middle East".

Council members were given until 4:00 p.m. (2000 GMT) to raise objections to the draft statement.

Stone pelting on bus: Tried my best to save students, says driver
He said the photograph being circulated about stone pelting and clashes was totally baseless and is strongly rebutted. The police has taken cognisance of the incident and a hunt for the miscreants was underway.

The most inflammatory portions of Abbas' initial speech were not included in the official Palestinian news agency's English press release about his address, the Times of Israel reported, and his speech elaborated on past Jewish conspiracy theories he has made publicly. On Monday, he said, "Their narrative about coming to this country because of their longing for Zion, or whatever-we're exhausted of hearing this".

The 1917 Balfour Declaration endorsed the idea of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.

He claimed Monday that his beliefs were based on those of Jewish authors and said "that animosity toward Jews was not because of their religion but because of their social activities", especially "usury and banking and such". "But why did this happen? They say "it is because we are Jews".

The "proof" that it was not because they were Jews, he asserted, "is that there were Jews in Arab countries".

During a speech to the European Parliament in 2016, he accused rabbis in Israel of calling for their government to poison the water used by Palestinians, echoing a libel that led to the mass killings of Jews in medieval times.

The Palestinian leader has been accused of Holocaust denial, publishing a dissertation in 1982 that the death toll had been exaggerated, although he has said he does not hold the same position now and he was one of the first Palestinian political leaders to recognize Israel in 1995.

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