Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Walrus detectives: Scientists recruit public to spot mammal from space MORE slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday after Abbas said Jewish conduct was the root cause of the Holocaust.
These comments are wrong, ugly, and unacceptable - anywhere from anyone - but particularly from anyone who says he wants to be a peacemaker. No excuses for antisemitism: words to be condemned, not explained away. https://t.co/BDnsiWEVVt— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) May 2, 2018
Abbas pointed to the Jews' "social behavior" and "their social function related to banks and interest” in a speech on Monday to the Palestinian National Council.
“From the 11th century until the Holocaust that took place in Germany, those Jews — who moved to Western and Eastern Europe — were subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years. But why did this happen? They say: ‘It is because we are Jews,’ ” Abbas said.
"I will bring you three Jews, with three books who say that enmity towards Jews was not because of their religious identity but because of their social function."
"This is a different issue. So the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such," he added, according to the BBC.
The comments have been denounced by various international figures, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, gave another anti-Semitic speech. 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.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 2, 2018
President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE's special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, called the remarks "distressing" and "disheartening" in a tweet.
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 & terribly disheartening. Peace cannot be built on this kind of foundation.— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) May 1, 2018
The European foreign service ripped the comments as "unacceptable" in a statement on Wednesday.
"The speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel's legitimacy," the European External Action Service said.
"Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated."
The Trump administration has said it will work to find a solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Trump has said in the past that he would be open to a two-state solution if both Israel and the Palestinians were to agree to the solution.