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Abbas also claimed that Israel is a European colonial project, that European Jews have "no historical ties" to Israel, and that "those who sought a Jewish state weren't Jews".

"Rather than expose Palestinians to accurate information about the Holocaust and the antisemitic persecution Jews faced for centuries in Europe, Abbas distorts the history to advance an agenda that lies about the Holocaust and Jews' connection to Israel". "I call on the global community to condemn his severe anti-Semitism; the time has come for it to pass from the world", Netanyahu continued.

The editorial concluded with a declaration urging a change of Palestinian leadership.

"Abbas' speech in Ramallah are the words of a classic anti-Semite", said Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper of the US-based Jewish human rights organisation, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. "Instead of blaming the Jews, he should look in his own backyard to the role played by the Grand Mufti in supporting Adolf Hitler's Final Solution", they added.

Abbas "again recited the most contemptible anti-Semitic canards", the Israeli leader said.

David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, said Abbas had reached a "new low" while President Donald Trump's envoy Jason Greenblatt said 'peace can not be built on this kind of foundation'.

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Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that Abbas's "anti-Semitism" was "all the more shocking considering that he presents himself as wanting to make peace with Israel".

The United Nations' top official for the Middle East Peace Process has said that spreading "deeply disturbing" conspiracy theories which fuel anti-Semitism are unacceptable, and serve neither the interests of Palestinians themselves, or the pursuit of peace in the region.

In those apparently unscripted remarks, Abbas said that recently "a number of rabbis in Israel made a clear declaration and asked their government to poison water to kill the Palestinians".

Abbas' office declined to comment. His family became refugees in 1948, fleeing across the border to Syria as violence intensified between Jews and Arabs, culminating in war between the newly-created State of Israel and its Arab neighbors in May 1948. Even basic acquaintance with Jewish history would teach Abbas not only that the Jews pursued, then and now, a wide variety of professions and occupations, but that the majority of them at that time were impoverished.

The Arab leader has a considerable past record of Holocaust denial, with his doctoral dissertation entitled "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism".