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Erekat: Netanyahu speech blames Palestinians for Holocaust

Oct. 21, 2015 1:20 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 21, 2015 6:13 P.M.)
(AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Secretary-General of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, on Wednesday strongly condemned comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the 37th World Zionist Congress which blamed the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for actions taken by Nazi Germany under leader Adolf Hitler.

Addressing the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that Haj Amin al-Husseini, who famously met with Hitler in 1941, played a central role in "fomenting the final solution," referring to the genocide of European Jewry.

"He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here.' 'So what should I do with them?' he asked. He said, 'Burn them,"' the Israeli leader said.

The reference to the Mufti was made while attempting to deny that Israel has plans to change the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount.

Erekat said the comments by the Israeli PM deepen the divide "during a time when a just and lasting peace is needed most" and attempt to turn a political issue into a religious one.

"Just a day after the Israeli occupying forces gunned down five Palestinians, raising up the number of Palestinians killed since October 1st to 50, Mr. Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for the Holocaust and completely absolved Adolf Hitler’s heinous and reprehensible genocide of the Jewish people," the PLO official said.

"On behalf of the thousands of Palestinians that fought alongside the Allied Troops in defense of international justice, the State of Palestine denounces these morally indefensible and inflammatory statements."

Erekat added that it is a "sad day in history" when the leader of Israel hates his neighbor so much that he would absolve the most notorious war criminal in history, Adolf Hitler, of the murder of six million Jews.
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