RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday apologized for remarks he made earlier this week that were deemed “anti-Semitic”.
"If people were offended by my statement… I apologize,” Abbas said in a Friday statement. “I reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith, along with other monotheistic faiths.”
“I would also like to reiterate our long-held condemnation of the Holocaust as the most heinous crime in history and express our sympathy with its victims,” Abbas asserted.
He added: “We condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms and reaffirm our commitment to a two-state solution.”
At a four-day meeting of the Palestinian National Council, which wrapped up in Ramallah on Thursday, Abbas said that Jews had been persecuted in Europe in the 20th century because of their “professions” and not because of their religion per se.
“It was not because of their religion,” he said, “but because of [their practice of] lending money [at interest] and banking”.