Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Netanyahu, Trump Administration Officials Condemn Abbas’ Anti-Semitic Remarks

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned what he “another anti-Semitic speech” by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“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,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued on Wednesday, a day after Abbas addressed a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah in the West Bank.

“Abu Mazen again recited the most contemptible anti-Semitic canards,” Netanyahu said, using Abbas’ nom de guerre. “Apparently the Holocaust-denier is still a Holocaust-denier.”

He called on the world community to condemn Abbas’ “severe anti-Semitism.”

Members of the Trump administration also condemned Abbas’ remarks, which he called a “history lesson,” in which he said that Jews caused the Holocaust with their “social behavior,” such as money lending and that “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with the Jews.” He also cited a short-lived agreement whereby Adolf Hitler facilitated the immigration over 60,000 German Jews to Palestine during the 1930s.

Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s chief Middle East peace negotiator, in a tweet wrote: “President Abbas’ remarks yesterday in Ramallah at the opening of the Palestinian National Congress must be unconditionally condemned by all. They are very unfortunate, very distressing and terribly disheartening. Peace cannot be built on this kind of foundation.”

The U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, wrote in a tweet “Abu Mazen has reached a new low in attributing the cause of massacres of Jewish people over the years to their ‘social behavior relating to interest and banks.’ To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don’t have peace, think again.”

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in a statement condemned Abbas’ remarks, calling them “grossly inaccurate and an insidious type of anti-Semitism.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.