Mahmoud Abbas, the 87-year-old President of the Palestinian National Authority, is currently in his 18th year of his four-year term. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, assumed office in 2005 following the death of Yasser Arafat, who recruited Abbas to join the Fatah party back in the 1950s. Fatah is one of two major parties that rule over the Palestinian people, the other being Hamas. Like Hamas, Fatah is a corrupt terror movement where funds and humanitarian aid that were designed for the Palestinian people are instead used to line the pockets of the members of the Palestinian government.
Mahmoud Abbas has a long and atrocious history of antisemitism. His dissertation for his doctorate in history at the Moscow Institute of Orientalism in 1982 was titled “The Secret Relationship between Nazism and the Zionist Movement” and included a passage casting doubt on the accuracy of the six million Jewish Holocaust victims figure for “Zionist” gain. Abbas would continue these antisemitic conspiracies several more times.
In 2016, he had to retract statements in his speech to the Parliament of European Union where he suggested that rabbis were poisoning Palestinian water. He clarified that he did not intend to offend Jews, but he only walked back the claim after Israel and Jewish organizations accused him of promoting antisemitic blood libels that have been used for centuries to wage violence against the Jewish people.
In 2018, Mahmoud Abbas was forced to apologize for suggesting that the historic persecution of European Jews was linked to their conduct, not their religion. His statements were drawn from various books and claims that antisemitism stemmed from Jewish involvement in usury and banking, including his own dissertation on Holocaust denial.
In 2022, during the 50th anniversary of the Munich Olympics, a journalist asked Abbas if he would apologize for the tragic events of 1972 when Palestinian gunmen – affiliated with Fatah – took the Israeli team hostage and brutally murdered 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, and a West German policeman; Abbas refused. In fact, the autobiography of the late Mohammed Oudeh, better known as Abu Daoud, named Abbas as one of the three senior officials of Fatah who assisted Daoud in planning the Munich massacre.
Earlier this month, Abbas once again expressed antisemitic comments in front of a national audience. He exhibited denial of the Holocaust’s historical reality and made remarks about the Jewish experience being linked to their historic role as money lenders rather than out of Hitler’s animosity toward the Jewish people.
“These people [Jews] were fought because of their social function related to money, usury,” Abbas said in the speech. “From Hitler’s point of view, they were sabotaging, and therefore he hated them.”
During the same speech, he revived a dangerous conspiracy theory often used by white supremacists that European Ashkenazi Jews were not descended from ancient Israelites but rather from 8th-century converts among the Khazars, a nomadic Turkic people. He contended that European Jews murdered under Hitler were not Semitic people.
Abbas’s consistent failure to commit to a genuine and lasting peace with Israel and his ongoing antisemitic rants, which include perpetuating blood libels and engaging in Holocaust denial, further demonstrate a troubling pattern of rhetoric that undermines the prospects for reconciliation or the possibility of a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the path to peace is fraught with challenges and complexities, it is clear that Abbas must demonstrate a genuine commitment to dialogue, recognition of Israel’s sovereignty, and a shared vision for a peaceful coexistence. As of now, Abbas’s words and actions fall far short of such a commitment and hinder progress toward a just and lasting resolution to this enduring conflict.