Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that Jews caused the Holocaust with their “social behavior,” such as money lending.
Speaking in Ramallah, Abbas also said that Jews do not have a historical connection to the land.
“Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews,” he told the Palestinian National Council, and the “Europeans wanted to bring the Jews here to preserve their interests in the region.”
Abbas, who called his speech a “history lesson,” also invoked an agreement whereby Hitler facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel. In that short-lived arrangement, over 60,000 German Jews moved to Palestine during the 1930s, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. While Holocaust deniers say the agreement showed collaboration between the Nazis and Zionist leaders, Holocaust historians like Deborah Lipstadt and Rainer Schulze say it was a narrow, cynical agreement on the Nazis’ part, agreed to by a Zionist group in an attempt to save as many Jews as possible at a time of increasing German persecution.
Abbas has faced accusations of Holocaust denial based on his 1982 doctoral dissertation titled “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.” The dissertation said the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust is a grossly inflated figure and that the “Zionist” leadership cooperated with the Nazis.
Abbas reiterated that he would not accept an American peace deal in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv later this month.
“We will not accept this deal, and we will not accept the U.S. as the sole broker,” he reportedly said.