The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has apologized after he made an anti-Semitic speech in which he suggested that historical persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct, not by their religion.
Abbas, 82, made the comments during a wide-ranging speech on Monday in Ramallah, West Bank, which drew condemnation from the US and the EU as well as PM Netanyahu.
“If people were offended by my statement, especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologize to them. I would like to assure everyone that it was not my intention to do so, and to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, as well as other monotheistic faiths.
“I would also like to reiterate our long held condemnation of the Holocaust, as the most heinous crime in history, and express our sympathy with its victims,” he said.
“Likewise, we condemn anti- Semitism in all its forms, and confirm our commitment to the two- state solution, and to live side by side in peace and security.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)