J Street Condemns Abbas’s Antisemitic Comments, Calls for Retraction and Apology

September 7, 2023

Washington, DC — In response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s recent antisemitic speech, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement:

J Street condemns in the strongest possible terms the reprehensible remarks made by President Mahmoud Abbas regarding the Jewish people and the history of their persecution in Europe and the Middle East.

There is no possible excuse for making antisemitic statements like these, and it is by no means President Abbas’s first offense. When he has expressed similar sentiments in the past, J Street has called on him to swiftly retract and apologize for making them — and we do so again now.

Maligning the Jewish people with these ugly tropes is an absolute moral wrong that endangers our community around the world and exacerbates distrust and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. These remarks are particularly disappointing to J Street and its leadership, which has always engaged — and urged others to engage — with the President as a potential partner in efforts to find a path to resolving the conflict. Comments like these undermine that basis for that hope and are personally, deeply hurtful.