UAE FM slams Palestinian president’s Holocaust remark in meeting with Jewish members

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The UAE foreign affairs minister has condemned the statements made by the Palestinian president on the Jewish community and about the Holocaust, in a meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations in New York.

Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas earlier in September remarked that Jews were targeted by Nazi Germany because of their “social role” rather than their religion.

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“This has been explained by many Jewish authors. When they said that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hates the Jews because they were Jews, no. It was clearly explained that they fought (the Jews) because of their social role and not their religion,” Abbas was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The UAE’s Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, in the meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, “emphasized the importance of tolerance and human brotherhood values in the UAE's approach to building peaceful and prosperous societies,” according to a report by the state-run WAM news agency on Tuesday.

He reportedly highlighted the UAE's “rejection of hate speech, extremism in all its forms, religious intolerance, racism and racial discrimination.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian political groups raged against dozens of Palestinian academics who had criticized President Abbas’ recent remarks in an open letter on the Holocaust that drew widespread accusations of antisemitism.

Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the US, was also present in the meeting that further discussed issues of common interest, the UNGA78 agenda, developments in the Middle East and means to strengthen the region's security.

The UAE foreign affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed in a meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations in New York. (WAM)
The UAE foreign affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed in a meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations in New York. (WAM)

Abbas, on many occasions, has drawn the anger of the international community with remarks about the Nazi Holocaust, in which around six million Jews were killed.

Last year, at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Abbas accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against Palestinians since 1947.

Scholz did not immediately challenge Abbas on his comments but, following widespread criticism, tweeted that he was “disgusted by the outrageous remarks” made by the Palestinian leader.

In response to a storm of criticism, Abbas issued a statement calling Nazi Germany’s Holocaust “the most heinous crime in modern human history.”

He said his remark was not intended to deny the singularity of the Holocaust but to highlight “the crimes and massacres committed against the Palestinian people since the Nakba at the hands of Israeli forces.”

The UAE established trade and investment ties with Israel since the signing of the Abraham Accords agreement in 2020. The two countries marked the third anniversary of the agreement on September 15.

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