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July 9, 2015 2:21 pm

Abbas Recalls Palestinian Envoy After Facing Pressure Over Antisemitic Comments

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Ambassador Nabil Jada'a denied the existence of Jews in a speech given in Chile. Photo: Screenshot.

Ambassador Nabil Jada’a denied the existence of Jews in a speech given in Chile. Photo: Screenshot.

Following condemnations from Jewish groups, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has recalled a Palestinian ambassador who was filmed spewing antisemitic remarks and promoting anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, a Reuters reporter revealed Thursday on Twitter.

PLO Ambassador to Chile Imad Nabil Jada’a made the offensive remarks at the Conference for Peace in Palestine and Israel on May 15 in Santiago, Chile. He claimed that Zionists have “plans of dominating life in the entire planet,” and cited the infamous forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a legitimate and accurate publication.

“There is no Jewish people,” he also said.

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In his speech, the PLO ambassador claimed Zionism was created in order to aid Jews in achieving world domination. He quoted The Protocols saying: “In 1896, a group of intellectuals and Jewish financiers decided to create the Zionist movement, justifying it with the will to create a homeland for the Jews. But in truth, their real purpose was to lend support to the plan of the Jews to dominate the world.”

Americans for Peace Now, a sister organization of the left-wing Peace Now movement in Israel, issued a statement condemning Jada’a’s “vile anti-Semitic statements.” The organization called on Abbas to repudiate the ambassador’s comments and dismiss him.

The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), an antisemitism watchdog group, was the first to release a video of Jada’a’s speech on Monday. The group called for responsible leaders to take action and condemn the “blatant expression of hate.”

ISGAP’s Chief Operating Officer, Suzanne Garment, told The Algemeiner on Thursday that Abbas’s decision to recall the ambassador was “a good thing, of the type that we would like to see more of.”

“I don’t think that [ISGAP] should be claiming for something like this,” she continued. “The situation in the world remains too awful for us to take a huge amount of pleasure in these things. We can only say that it’s a tiny step in the right direction.”

ISGAP’s Executive Director, Charles Small, called on the Palestinian Authority to do more to deal with the “legacy of European and Islamist antisemitism which is embedded in their society.”

“For there to be peace, and for there to be a democratic, functional Palestinian society, they need to leave their baggage of antisemitism and hatred behind them and move forward to a future that’s good for all Palestinians and their neighbors,” he said.

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