September 21, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10806

Palestinian Officials Defend Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Remarks On Holocaust And Jews: These Are Documented Historical Facts; The West's Condemnations Just Prove Its 'Hypocrisy' And 'Allegiance To World Jewry'

September 21, 2023
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10806

Remarks made by PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the 11th session of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, on August 24, 2023, sparked outrage across the world. Abbas said that Hitler fought the European Jews because they engaged in usury and not out of antisemitism, adding that European Jews are not Semites but descendants of the Khazars. These statements – which garnered attention after they were published by MEMRI[1] – drew condemnations from many Western counties and governments, who called on Abbas to recant them and apologize. For example, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt, referred to the statements "hateful" and "antisemitic" and urged an immediate apology.[2] The European Union's diplomatic service likewise denounced Abbas' "false and grossly misleading" statements and "historical distortions."[3] Condemnations were also issued by the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and many other countries. The municipality of Paris even stripped Abbas of a medal it had awarded him in 2015 because his comments were "contrary to our universal values and the historical truth of the Shoah."[4]

In response, many Palestinian officials rushed to defend Abbas and to justify his statements about antisemitism and the Jews. They asserted that his claims were "historical facts" documented in books by Jewish, Israeli and American writers and researchers. At the same time they claimed that his comments had been deliberately taken out of context or distorted in order to undermine Abbas' efforts to promote the Palestinian cause. They also asserted that his statements could not be characterized as antisemitism or Holocaust denial because Abbas himself has condemned the Holocaust on more than one occasion. The Palestinian officials slammed the international criticism directed at Abbas, calling it an "insane campaign" and a "conspiracy" aimed at "diverting attention away from the crimes of the occupation," and demanded that the West apologize for its "political and ideological terror" against the Palestinian people and its leadership.   

Articles in the Palestinian press took a similar line. Their authors, including former ministers, a former ambassador and various columnists, likewise wrote that Abbas' comments were historical truths backed by research, and that the West's "insane attack" on him, and its false accusations of antisemitism and Holocaust denial, reflected the West's own hypocrisy, its "allegiance to world Jewry" and its desire to cover up its past crimes against the Jews.

Some of the articles repeated claims and allegations made by Abbas in the past about Jews and the Holocaust, for instance his claim about collaboration between the Zionist Movement and the Nazis, which was the topic of his 1982 doctoral dissertation, or his assertion that Israel is perpetrating a holocaust against the Palestinians.[5]

PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Image:

This report presents some of the responses by Palestinian officials and in Palestinian press articles defending Abbas' recent remarks about Jews and antisemitism.

Palestinian Officials: Abbas Was Quoting Historians And Studies; His Statements Were Deliberately Distorted To Undermine The Palestinian Cause

As stated, following the worldwide condemnations of Abbas' statements, many members of the Palestinian leadership rushed to back him up and reject the criticism against him, stating that his words were fact and that the criticism they sparked was nothing but a malicious attack intended to harm the Palestinian cause.

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: Abbas' Remarks Were Based On Facts Proven By Israeli And American Scholars

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh harshly condemned the Western responses to Abbas' speech, saying that his comments were based on "information proven in studies by Israeli and American scholars." The responses were "hasty and unjustified," he said, and were prompted by "pressure from the Zionist lobby" to punish Abbas for his refusal throughout the years "to drop his immense efforts to internationalize the Palestinian issue, his requests to accept [Palestine] as a member in all the international bodies, and especially his appeal to the international court in the Hague."  Shtayyeh called on the states that condemned Abbas to "impose sanctions on the [Israeli] criminals instead of criticizing the [Palestinian] victims, who are only defending themselves from the racists carrying out a mass extermination."[6]

Presidential Spokesman Abu Rudeineh: Abbas Was Quoting Jewish And American Historians And Writers; He Opposes Antisemitism

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said: "The comments made by President Mahmoud Abbas about the Jews on television were quoted from books by historians and writers, Jewish, American and other. They have nothing to do with denying the Nazi Holocaust… President Abbas' position on this matter is clear and on record: he fully condemns the Nazi Holocaust and opposes antisemitism." Abu Rudeineh added that "We strongly condemn and renounce this insane campaign [against Abbas, who] merely quoted books of history and academic [studies]."[7]     

Palestinian Foreign Ministry: Abbas' Comments Were Taken Out Of Context And Deliberately Misrepresented; The West's Condemnations Are Part Of A Malicious Campaign To Harm The Palestinian Cause

In a statement it issued, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned what it called "the vicious attack on the honorable President Mahmoud Abbas by several countries and their representatives," describing it as "an integral part of a malicious political plan to harm the cause and the rights of our [Palestinian] people." This is done by "deliberately distorting some comments [made by Abbas] that were quoted from [the writings of]  international academics and scholars… and were deliberately taken out of context in order to serve the goals of those plans and this conspiracy." The statement expressed puzzlement at "the attempt of some countries to associate these statements with 'antisemitism,' while displaying open hostility and uttering verbal threats and arrogant discourse." It also rejected "the political and ideological terror directed at the Palestinian people, whose leaders have stated again and again that they condemn the Holocaust and regard it as the most despicable crime against humanity." The response to Abbas' comments, the statement added, was "an insult to the Palestinian people and its leadership, which requires an immediate apology." The statement concluded: "Those elements, which are biased in favor of the wrong side of history, should have listened again to the recorded [speech] in order to examine the truth of the claims made by whoever spread those fabrications [against Abbas], or should have officially approached the Palestinians and asked for clarifications about this before shooting their arrows poisoned with hostility and with language that has no place in international relations."[8]

Fatah Spokesman In Europe: Abbas' Comments Were Fabricated Or Taken Out Of Context

Fatah's spokesman in Europe, Jamal Nazzal, made similar remarks, denouncing the "Israeli incitement campaign" against Abbas and its international repercussions, all of which were "based on comments ascribed to Abbas that were either fabricated or taken out of context." He added: "Neither Fatah nor any other element have ever heard the president express, in closed meetings or in public, any positions against peace or against the Jews as a religion. We condemn any attempt to distract us from the crux of our cause, which is the cause of a people whose land is occupied and which is acting to liberate it…  Ours is a national struggle for independence and freedom. It is not directed at any religion or race, but at a foreign and violent occupation that defends the terror carried out by groups of settlers…"[9]

Fatah Revolutionary Council Member: Abbas Presented Facts Exposed By Historians; He Is Not Antisemitic

Fatah Revolutionary Council Member Kifah Harb said: "Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] spoke about history and [quoted] historians and historiographers who published books, papers and studies about this issue. He did not misrepresent or misinterpret them, but [only] presented the facts they uncovered, in public and in general terms. He was not being antisemitic… These [allegations against him] are an attempt to preoccupy the world with other things so that they [the Israelis] can distract the world from the crimes that the occupation and its racist government are committing against the Palestinian people." Harb stated further that "the insane attack led by Israel against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), and its well-timed dissemination, are a deliberate and organized [campaign] ahead of Abu Mazen's upcoming speech at the UN…"[10] 

PLO National Council Chair Rawhi Fattouh: This Is False Propaganda Against Abbas

PLO National Council Chair Rawhi Fattouh said: "The European and American position on President Mahmoud Abbas' remarks, which were taken out of context, is reprehensible and unjustified… There is a dubious campaign of misguidance, led by fake media and [promoters of] false propaganda, against [Abbas'] remarks, which were quoted from foreign writers and historians."  He added: "President Mahmoud Abbas' position is known and unchanging and cannot be doubted or misinterpreted: He is against the Nazi Holocaust and opposes antisemitism… The attack, at this time and in the present circumstances, is meant to cover up the crimes of the racist Netanyahu government and mislead public opinion and the international community, especially ahead of the UN General  Assembly, at which President Mahmoud Abbas [is expected] to address the international community, expose Israel's racist policy against the Palestinian people and its holy places and highlight the Palestinian narrative of the Nakba and Naksa."[11]

Articles In Palestinian Press: The West's Attack On Abbas Stems From Hypocrisy And A Desire To Cover Up Its Own Crimes Against The Jews

Papers affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA), based in Ramallah and East Jerusalem, published articles in a similar vein, by former PA ministers and columnists, which defended his claims about the Jews and the Holocaust, rejected the international condemnations against him and repeated his claims about collaboration between the Zionist Movement and the Nazis.  

Former PA Ambassador: The Hatred Against Europe's Jews In The WWII Era Was Not Because Of Their Religion; The Zionist Movement Collaborated With The Nazis; The World Must Acknowledge The Ongoing Holocaust Against The Palestinians

Marwan Emile Toubasi, formerly the PA governor of the Toubas district and ambassador in Greece, wrote in his September 9, 2023 column in the daily Al-Quds:  "In the recent days, the Zionist and Western hysteria came to a head with a insane and insolent attack on statements made by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), in which he presented facts about the history of the Jewish question and the meaning and definition of Semitism.

"The colonialist West – which is morally responsible for [its act of] getting rid of the Jews, who controlled the financial centers in the European countries, and aiding their land-grabbing immigration to Palestine and the construction of their settlements there – continues to be silent in the face of their crimes and the holocaust they [have been perpetrating] for 75 years against our Palestinian people, who are the owners of the land, and in the face of the Jewish racial discrimination and religious supremacy… Moreover, [the West] helps to falsify historical facts and denies its responsibility for everything to do with the issue of the Jews in Europe…

"Last year, President Abu Mazen presented, in a clear and unequivocal way, the iron-clad truth about some 50 massacres [perpetrated by Israel], which he compared to a Holocaust against our people…[12] [He said this] during a press conference with the German Chancellor, angering the Germans and the West. His remarks [at that press conference] were in keeping with the historical facts of the last 75 years in terms of the barbarity of the Zionist gangs and of the leaders of the state of Israel… The remarks he made at the [recent Fatah] Revolutionary Council meeting were likewise clear and scientific, and relied especially on statements by the philosopher Karl Marx and on historical facts. Therefore, neither of these incidents required issuing clarifications about Mahmoud Abbas' statements… 

"We are not the ones who perpetrated the Holocaust, and we do not hesitate to condemn all the crimes against humanity that were carried out throughout history, including the atrocities of Nazism and fascism. [At the same time], we do not hesitate to demand that everyone acknowledge that an ongoing holocaust is being perpetrated against the Palestinian people, which must be condemned and apologized for…

"Today we recognize that the West and Europe still suffer from a phobia regarding the hatred that existed towards Europe's Jews before and during World War II for reasons that had nothing to do with their religion. This phobia stems from an idea that the Zionist Movement planted in the minds of many Europeans, [namely] that any criticism of Israeli policy is tantamount to antisemitism…

"Out of political and colonialist considerations, the global Zionist Movement sacrificed a large number of poor Jews to the crimes of World War II, while collaborating with the Nazis. The Nazis, for their part, facilitated the migration of Jews to Palestine, by means of the Transfer Agreement,[13] in return for money, in an attempt to empty Europe of Jews, because the Europeans were sick of them due to their control of Europe's financial centers at the time.   

"After the Holocaust, which the Zionist movement exploited, even monopolizing the term 'Holocaust' itself... the governments of Europe and the U.S. disregarded the call to fulfill their duty and responsibility to the entire world by reabsorbing the Jews who had been deported [from their countries]. They refused to ease the restrictions on immigration, forcing most of the European Jews to build a new colonialist life for themselves in Palestine, as part of various agreements and plots between the Zionist Movement and Nazi Germany, and in compliance with orders from the U.S. to use the Jews to implement the Zionist colonialist plan at the expense of our presence on our soil…"[14]

Former Palestinian Minister: Abbas Merely Presented Historical Facts About The Jews' Character, But He Would Have Done Better To Avoid This Topic

Former PA minister of culture Ibrahim Abrash wrote in an article published September 14, 2023 in the Palestinian Al-Quds daily: "The Zionist entity incites the U.S. and the West against President Abu Mazen and accuses him of antisemitism, of denying the Holocaust, and of incitement to violence... This is despite the fact that there is no evidence of this in the speech [delivered by] the president before the [Fatah] Revolutionary Council or in any of his speeches – including the Germany speech [in which he stated that "50 holocausts" had been perpetrated against the Palestinians].[15] Everything that the president mentioned is historical fact about the character of the Jews and their relationships with the societies in which they lived, as recorded [in documents] in every language. Moreover, it is the state of [the Zionist] entity that acts with racism and terrorism. The doctrine of Zionism and Judaism is rife with expressions of racism and hatred of non-Jews and with incitement to kill them.

"In my opinion, there was no need for the president to mention the Jewish issue at a conference devoted to discussing the situation of the Fatah movement and the great challenges facing the national cause – [which] gave Israel an opportunity to exploit this in order to deflect attention from its crimes and its terrorism. That discussion, and writings on this important subject – which expose the distortion of the narrative and the fabricated Jewish history – would have been better left to the intellectuals, the writers, the Palestinian research institutes, the presidential advisors, and the people surrounding the president. However, since the president has already broached [the topic], every Palestinian patriot is required to stand with the president in the face of the Zionist campaign of lies that, unfortunately, Western countries have endorsed. [They endorse it] despite knowing that President Abu Mazen is talking facts, because they do not want anyone to talk about their historic roles in the disasters of the Jews, even before the advent of Nazism..."[16]

Another Former Minister: The International Condemnations Of Historical Facts Presented By Abbas Are Proof Of Western Hypocrisy And Allegiance To World Jewry

Former PA Jerusalem affairs minister Ziad Abu Zayyad expressed similar sentiments in his September 10, 2023 column in the Palestinian Al-Quds daily. He wrote: "The responses of several European countries, of the U.S. and of other countries to the speech by President Mahmoud Abbas... are proof of the magnitude of the international hypocrisy [regarding] Israel and of [these countries'] double standard regarding the Palestinian people and its issue. The West, which allows a handful of unbelievers to set fire to the Quran on the pretext of freedom of expression, condemns Mahmoud Abbas when he presents a view backed by historical facts. [These facts are] essentially that the Jews of eastern and central Europe [are descended from] the Khazars and Tatars who adopted the Jewish religion after their king did so; that they are not [descended] from the seed of Israel, that is, the children of Israel mentioned in the Quran; and that they are not Semites from the seed of Shem, son of Noah...

"President Abbas's statements were nothing new, and he did not invent them – they are part of statements made by many researchers... The president did not deny the Holocaust; he [merely] mentioned several of the theories adopted by many international historians and researchers, with the knowledge that some of these are controversial, particularly among the Jews and among Europeans who are sympathetic to them and bear the sins of their criminal Nazi forebears whose hands are stained with [the Jews'] blood. These hypocrites, who are attempting to leverage the situation for their benefit, started taking the president's speech out of context, as a result of their hypocrisy and their allegiance to world Jewry.

"To put the statements in the proper context, we must agree that the Holocaust is an historical fact, and a stain on European history, and that our people paid the price for the Nazis' crimes against the Jews when Europe conspired with and was an accessory to our people's expulsion from our homeland, to the looting of our property and resources, and to making the vast majority of our people refugees. All this was for the sake of establishing a Jewish national [home] in Palestine…"

Abu Zayyad added that it must be acknowledged that the Palestinians' status and cause have waned as a priority in the eyes of the international community, and that the PA's conduct contributes to the campaign to blacken the Palestinian reputation and leadership and the justness of the Palestinian cause. He therefore called on the PA to restore its honor and legitimacy by holding free, transparent and fair elections.[17]

Fatah Member And Columnist For PA Daily: President Abbas's Statements Are Findings Of Systematic Scientific Research

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muwaffaq Matar, who writes a column for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote: "...It is only natural that a man who was and remains a symbol of nobility in the [Palestinian] struggle and of faithfulness to his vow to Palestine [i.e. President Abbas]  continues to be a permanent target [on the wall of] the headquarters of the leaders of the colonialist deep state and of its agents in the Zionist regime... They are conspiring [against him] and sometimes command those who carry out their orders to harass [him] and to lay mines of fitna [civil strife] in the path of his struggle to actualize the national Palestinian principles.

"We witnessed the recent campaign that was planned [against him], in all its details, immediately after  his speech at the opening of the 13th [sic wasn't it the 11th?] session of Fatah's Revolutionary Council and following his statements [there], which are documented in scientific sources and research about the origin of the Ashkenazi [Jews], that is, the Jews from Western Europe. [Because of these statements], he has been accused of antisemitism and 'Holocaust' denial!...

"How can President Abu Mazen be antisemitic?! It was he who said, 'We are the Semites.' How [can he be accused] of denying the Holocaust by calling it a crime against humanity and even writing this 42 years ago in the preface to his doctoral dissertation,  titled " The Secret Connection between Nazism and Zionism," [which he submitted] to the Institute for Oriental Studies in Moscow in 1982 and later published in book form...[18]

"President Abu Mazen did not invent the data [that appear] in his books and speeches; this [information] is the result of his systematic scientific research, of in-depth reading of truths and facts [that are recorded] in historical documents and in books and research by thinkers and researchers from all over the world..."[19]


[1] See MEMRI TV Clip No. 10461, 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,  September 3, 2023; MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10782, 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, September 6, 2023. It should be mentioned that Abbas’ recent remarks reflect his outlook on the Jews and the Holocaust, as set out in his 1982 doctoral dissertation, titled  "The Secret Connection between Nazism and Zionism – 1933-1945," and in his 1984 book, which is based on this dissertation. Abbas has  expressed this outlook on many occasions since then. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10799 - He Said It All Already In 2018 And More: Jews Poison Wells – Mahmoud Abbas's Antisemitism And Holocaust Denial In Perspective – September 18, 2023. 

[2], September 7, 2023.

[3], September 7, 2023.

[4], September 7, 2023,, September 8, 2023.

[7], September 7, 2023.

[8], September 8, 2023.

[9], September 7, 2023.

[10], September 8, 2023.

[11], September 8, 2023.

[13] This agreement, drafted in 1933 by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the German Zionist Federation and the German Economics Ministry, enabled German Jews to flee Nazi Germany while retaining some of the value of their property in the country, which would have otherwise been confiscated by the Nazis.

[14] Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), September 9, 2023.

[16] Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), September 14, 2023.

[17] Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), September 10, 2023.

[19] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), September 14, 2023.

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