Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected in the Palestinian Authority later on Thursday, where he will meet Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, the official PA news agency WAFA reported. It will be Putin’s third visit to the PA in 15 years.
“The visit of President Putin and his meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas today comes at a critical time in light of the continuation of Israeli settlement activities, the Judaization of Jerusalem, the blockade of Gaza and talk about annexation of settlements, not to mention the biased US positions toward the occupation,” Abdel Hafeez Nofal, the PA ambassador to Russia, told WAFA.
He said that the visit confirms Russia’s firm stance toward the two-state solution and the establishment of the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4, 1967 borders. He explained that Abbas would discuss with Putin the possibility of pressuring Israel side to stop the escalation on the ground—whatever that means.
The WAFA report had absolutely nothing to say about the fact that the Russian president is coming to the PA from an event at Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, commemorating the Jewish experience in the Holocaust.
When Mahmoud Abbas served as head of the Palestinian-Soviet Friendship Foundation, he was working on a Ph.D. dissertation, which he later published in a book titled: “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism.” In it, Abbas suggested there was cooperation between the Nazis and the “global Zionist organization” known as the Jewish Agency. In the book, Abbas dismissed as a “myth” and “fantastic lie” that six million Jews had died in the Holocaust, writing that the real figure of Jews killed by Germans was at most “890,000” or “a few hundred thousand.” He claimed the 6 million figure had been exaggerated for political purposes:
“It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement … is to inflate this figure so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.”
In 2012, Abbas told Al Mayadeen, a Beirut TV station affiliated with Iran and Hezbollah, that he “challenges anyone who can deny that the Zionist movement had ties with the Nazis before World War II.”
In a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in 2018, Abbas stated that Jews in Europe were massacred for centuries because of their “social role related to usury and banks.” The speech was condemned by Israel, the United Nations, the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the US, former officials of the Obama administration, Peace Now and the Anti-Defamation League. The New York Times said, “Let Abbas’s vile words be his last as Palestinian leader.”