The mayor of Paris withdrew honors from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for denying the Nazi genocide

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File (BENOIT TESSIER/)

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgoit has removed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from the French capital’s highest decoration after his statements about the Holocaust in which echoed anti-Semitic clichésaccording to his office on Friday.

Abbas will no longer be able to hold the Grand Vermeil medal after what “justified the extermination of the Jews of Europe” in World War II, his office told the news agency AFP.

“The comments you have made are contrary to our universal values ​​and the historical truth of the Shoah“Hidalgo wrote in a letter to Abbas sent on Thursday. “Therefore, you cannot continue to hold this distinction”.

The text of the letter was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, by Yonathan Arfi, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), an umbrella organization representing French Jews.

Letter Anne Hidalgo
The letter that Anne Hidalgo wrote to Mahmoud Abbas (@Anne_Hidalgo)

“This important decision honors Paris and the city’s ongoing commitment against anti-Semitism“, wrote.

Abbas, 87, claimed that Jews had been murdered in the Holocaust for their “social role” and not for their religion, stating that “it is not true” that “(Adolf) Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews”.

Echoing anti-Semitic clichés, he stated that Europeans “fought (against the Jews) for their social role, and not for their religion. For usury and money”.

Abbas made the remarks during a speech late last month to senior officials of his Fatah party in Ramallah.

“You (…) justified the extermination of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War with a clear will to deny the genocide“Hidalgo said in the letter.

“I vehemently condemn their manifestations, no cause can justify revisionism and denialism,” he added.

Abbas had received the award during a visit to Paris in 2015.

A spokesperson for the European Union stated that “the speech contained false and grossly misleading comments about Jews and anti-Semitism”.

The French consulate in Jerusalem called the comments “totally unacceptable”.

(With information from AFP)