Mahmoud Abbas Spreads Vile Antisemitism: Canadian Media Must Condemn

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is facing widespread criticism from global leaders after explicitly antisemitic remarks he made in August were recently translated and released.

Abbas’ comments, which were made during a speech at the Fatah Revolutionary Council and were translated by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), claimed that Adolf Hitler’s Nazis and their allies across Europe murdered six million Jews in the Holocaust due to the Jews’ “social role” as moneylenders, and not out of a deep-seated animosity towards Jews in general.

The Nazis “fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money and so on and so forth,” Abbas told the gathering.

Abbas’ incendiary remarks where he blamed European Jews for their own genocide, were condemned by Canada’s Ambassador to the UN, Bob Rae, the Canadian embassy in Israel, the Canadian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority, along with Canadian Members of Parliament (MP’s) Anthony Housefather and Ya’ara Saks & Irwin Cotler, Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, along with others around the world, including in Israel, France, the European Union, United States, and Germany. But Canada is more than just an interested party; it’s a major donor of foreign aid to the Palestinians, but as of this writing, no statement has been issued by Global Affairs Canada, nor PM Justin Trudeau.

And while outrage expressed by politicians and diplomats over Abbas’ comments is certainly welcome and justified, nobody should be surprised by the bile coming out of the Palestinian leader’s mouth; they are only the latest manifestation of an overt antisemitic obsession dating back decades.

In 1982, Mahmoud Abbas published his doctoral thesis while at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. His dissertation, titled “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” claimed that Zionist leaders partnered with the Nazis to carry out the Holocaust in order to help create the State of Israel, and that Israel’s arrest and subsequent execution of senior Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was not an act of justice for his crimes, but as a cover up to hide the Zionist collusion with the Nazis.

Abbas’ antisemitism and Holocaust revisionism didn’t end there; it has regularly reappeared in his public comments throughout the years.

In August, 2022, during a press conference with Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, Abbas was asked by a reporter whether he would apologize for the Palestinian terrorists who 50 years earlier had massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich. Rather than apologizing, Abbas proceeded to accuse Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians, a charge that was vigorously condemned by Germany.

Holocaust denial is more than just factually incorrect historical revisionism; it is a repugnant attempt to not only erase the most widespread genocide faced by the Jewish people in recorded history, but also to portray the Jews as a collective in helping to concoct, embellish or fabricate the event in order to extract concessions from the world. Accordingly, Holocaust revisionism, distortion and denial is an attempt to turn a traumatic event in Jewish history, and find a way to blame Jews for it.

While it may be tempting for critics, whether in the general public or in the Canadian news media, to dismiss Abbas’ ongoing Holocaust revisionism and antisemitism as objectionable, but otherwise harmless rhetoric of little consequence in the real world, Palestinian incitement against Israel helps to foster an environment where the Jewish State and the Jewish people continue to be demonized, and consequently, terrorism and Jew hatred becomes normalized and weaponized.

As a result, it’s imperative for the Canadian news media to shine a critical light on Mahmoud Abbas, and ensure that his hateful rhetoric does not get swept under the rug. Importantly, when members of Israel’s governing coalition, such as Bezalel Smotrich or Itamar Ben-Gvir made comments deemed to be offensive, their words were widely reported and condemned.

Surely then, if that is the threshold for the news media to report on the comments made by two members of Israel’s government (but neither of whom are the prime minister), then it would certainly be newsworthy for the Canadian news media to report on – and to harshly condemn – Abbas’ comments as well. If that doesn’t happen, and at least commensurate to the grotesqueness of his vile statements, then it would represent an indefensible display of double-standards and a tacit soft bigotry of low expectations.


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