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DUP slam Sinn Fein after anti-Semitic speech by Abbas


Mahmoud Abbas

DUP MP Paul Girvan has called on Sinn Fein to answer questions over its response to a speech widely criticised as anti-Semitic.

On Monday, leader of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) parliament in Ramallah.

It is the first meeting of the 700-member body in nine years, and the current session will see it elect a new Executive Committee.

Mr Abbas said treatment of European Jews "was not because of their religious identity but because of their social function" and that his views were based on texts from "Jewish Zionist authors".

"So the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury and banking and such."

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry wrote on Twitter: "These comments are wrong, ugly, and unacceptable - anywhere from anyone - but particularly from anyone who says he wants to be a peacemaker. No excuses for anti-Semitism: words to be condemned, not explained away."

After the conclusion of the speech, MLA Declan Kearney - who is Sinn Fein's chairman, and representing his party at the event in Ramallah - tweeted pictures from outside the event with the text: "Wide ranging speech from President Abbas on peace process".

"The speech by Mahmoud Abbas was widely and rightly condemned for anti-Semitism," said Mr Girvan.

"Anti-Semitism has been on the rise across Europe and that includes Northern Ireland."

Sinn Fein has been contacted for comment on the response to the speech by Mr Abbas.

Belfast Telegraph