Palestinian President in Hot Water After Comments on Hitler

( – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sparked outrage around the world after making several controversial statements about Hitler, Jews, and the Holocaust. Claims that the leader of the Third Reich hadn’t actually been anti-Semitic, and the Jews he persecuted had deserved their fates, have landed the foreign leader in hot water.

The Middle East Media Research Institute initially reported on the fateful speech, which Abbas gave on August 24 during the 11th session of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. He claimed that Hitler sought out and punished Jews not for their ethnic background or religious beliefs, but because they were participating in “usury,” or charging criminally high interest rates on loans, and therefore sabotaging the system. He quoted Karl Marx to back his stance, adding that because Ashkenazi (or European) Jews were, in fact, converted Turks, none of them could be considered “Semites,” or people of actual Jewish ancestry.

Representatives from the European Union, the United States, and Germany have each condemned Abbas’ statements. They accuse the Palestinian leader of offending the memory of those who suffered and died during the Holocaust and stirring hatred against Jewish people. US Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism Deborah Lipstadt asked that Abbas apologize for his distortions of such a tragic event, which led to Israel being formed as a safe haven for fleeing Jews. The move, as well as ensuing conflicts over territory, led to the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians, and the two groups have been fighting over the land ever since.

The National World War II Museum states that roughly six million European Jews — along with another five million others the Nazis deemed Untermenschen, or subhuman, for being Romany, homosexual, Jehovah’s Witness, disabled, or prisoners of war — were killed like vermin during the course of the Holocaust. The World Holocaust Remembrance Center adds that about one and a half million of those individuals were children.

Abbas has reportedly given dismissive remarks regarding Jews in the past, gaining a reputation for his divisive and anti-Semitic views. An opinion article in The Jerusalem Post called the Palestinian president “delusional” and “unfit to lead.”

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