Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that Jews in Europe were exposed to pogroms not because of their religion, but because of their social role and financial matters.
Speaking during the National Palestinian Council in Ramallah, Abbas attributed the claim to Jewish scholars and said that factually, "such pogroms did not take place in Arab nations, which had Jewish communities."
Abbas stirred controversy in his doctoral thesis in Moscow University when he examined connections between the Zionist leadership in Israel and the Nazi regime in the 1930s. In it he dealt with the claims of Holocaust deniers such as Roger Garaudy regarding the correct number of Jewish deaths in the Holocaust. Israeli officials have dubbed Abbas a Holocaust denier, but he has refuted the accusation.
Last January, Abbas said that "after the Holocaust, Europe wanted to solve the Jews' problem at our expense." President Reuven Rivlin accused him of saying "exactly the same things for which he was accused years ago of anti-Semitism and Holocaust deniel."