Mahmoud Abbas apologises to Jews over anti-Semitic Holocaust remark
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Mahmoud Abbas apologises to Jews over anti-Semitic Holocaust remark

Palestinian President backtracks after claiming the "social functions" of Jews, caused the Holocaust instead of anti-Semitism

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has apologised following a speech he made this week widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

He said it was the “social functions” of Jews, including money-lending, that caused hatred toward them in Europe.

He also said there was no historical “basis for the Jewish homeland”.

The speech drew criticism around the world that Abbas perpetuated anti-Semitic stereotypes and ignored deep Jewish historical connections to the Holy Land.

Palestinian officials say Mr Abbas was under intense pressure from diplomats to apologise.

“If people were offended by my statement … especially people of the Jewish faith, I apologise to them,” news agency Wafa quoted Abbas as saying.

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