Leaders obliged to confront anti-Semitism ‘everywhere and always’, stresses UN envoy

UN Photo/Loey Felipe | Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. (file) 

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.

UN Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov was responding to remarks which were made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the opening of the Palestinian National Council on Monday.

According to news reports, the Palestinian leader suggested that the mass murder of European Jews during the Holocaust had been connected to their financial practices.

Mr Mladenov said in a statement on Wednesday that President Abbas “chose to use his speech at the opening of the Palestinian National Council to repeat some of the most contemptuous anti-Semitic slurs, including the suggestion that the social behaviour of Jews was the cause for the Holocaust.”

“Leaders have an obligation to confront anti-Semitism everywhere and always, not perpetuate the conspiracy theories that fuel it,” stressed Mr. Mladenov.

Mr. Mladenov also reiterated that denying historic and religious connection of the Jewish people to the land and their holy sites in Jerusalem “stands in contrast to reality”.

He also stressed that the Holocaust was the result of thousands of years of persecution and that it did not occur in a vacuum.

“This is why attempts to rewrite, downplay or deny it are dangerous,” he said.