Thornberry Present at Abbas Jew Hate Speech

Emily Thornberry attended the Mahmoud Abbas speech which made global headlines this week for its anti-Semitic content, Guido can reveal. Thornberry was representing Labour at the Palestinian National Council (PNC) meeting in Ramallah. The Shadow Foreign Secretary confirmed her attendance in a Facebook post published after Abbas’ speech. Her statement did not reference Abbas’ anti-Semitic comments…

Abbas delivered a rambling speech in which he claimed the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism but by Jewish “social behaviour, [charging] interest, and financial matters.” In highly offensive comments, Abbas said:

“But why did this use to happen… They say, “It is because we are Jews”. I will bring you three Jews, with three books who say that enmity towards Jews was not because of their religious identity but because of their social function. This is a different issue. So the Jewish question that was widespread throughout Europe was not against their religion but against their social function which relates to usury [unscrupulous money-lending] and banking and such.”

Rather than reference the remarks or condemn Abbas in her initial statement, Thornberry instead said:

“While we of course want to see the resumption of meaningful peace talks, I said President Abbas had been quite right to argue that the Trump administration cannot act as a mediator for peace when they themselves are sowing the seeds of discord, and making a negotiated peace ever harder to achieve...”

Now Thornberry has put out another statement:

“It is deeply regrettable that, during a lengthy speech whose main and successful purpose was to urge the Palestinian National Council to remain committed to the Middle East peace process and the objective of a two-state solution, President Abbas made these anti-Semitic remarks about the history of the Jewish community in Europe which were not just grossly offensive, but utterly ignorant. His comments were out of keeping with the tone of the Council as a whole, and of my discussions with other delegates, and I hope President Abbas will immediately apologise for them, so that the message to come out of this important Council meeting can remain positive and progressive, and focused on re-establishing peaceful and constructive dialogue.”

Labour sources are concerned that the Shadow Foreign Secretary did not initially distance herself from the remarks or condemn them. It has been confirmed that she was in the room during the remarks, alongside 80 other international observers. It was a mad three hour speech so perhaps she just wasn’t listening. If Boris did this it would lead Sky News all day…




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