Antisemites and Terror Supporters Among Signatories of Open Letter Condemning Abbas’ Antisemitic Comments

A number of well-known palestinian Arab, including academics, writers, artists, activists, have signed an open letter condemning Mahmoud Abbas’ latest antisemitic comments.

We the undersigned, Palestinian academics, writers, artists, activists, and people of all walks of life, unequivocally condemn the morally and politically reprehensible comments made by President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas about the Holocaust. Rooted in a racial theory widespread in European culture and science at the time, the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people was born of antisemitism, fascism, and racism. We adamantly reject any attempt to diminish, misrepresent, or justify antisemitism, Nazi crimes against humanity, or historical revisionism vis-a-vis the Holocaust. 

The Palestinian people are sufficiently burdened by Israeli settler colonialism, dispossession, occupation, and oppression without having to bear the negative effect of such ignorant and profoundly antisemitic narratives perpetuated by those who claim to speak in our name. We are also burdened by the PA’s increasingly authoritarian and draconian rule, which disproportionately impacts those living under occupation. Having held onto power nearly a decade and a half after his presidential mandate expired in 2009, supported by Western and pro-Israel forces seeking to perpetuate Israeli apartheid, Abbas and his political entourage have forfeited any claim to represent the Palestinian people and our struggle for justice, freedom, and equality, a struggle that stands against all forms of systemic racism and oppression. 

They should have ended after the first paragraph, because the second paragraph perpetuates falsehoods that actually contribute to Jew-hatred in the world and themselves represent antisemitic narratives.

But I am not surprised. The list of the letter’s signatories includes:

Rashid Khalidi

Has himself been accused of antisemitism, especially after he once referred to “a group of people, a lot of them in Israel and some in the United States, who live in a world of their own” who infest the Trump transition team; these people are going to infest our government as of January 20.”

Tareq Baconi

Once said Palestinians are “a canvas against which Jewish psychodramas play themselves out”.

Muhammad Ali Khalidi

Has claimed the antisemitic BDS campaign is not antisemitic, while denying it aims to delegitimize Israel, or indeed, calls for Israel’s destruction – which BDS proponents totally do

Noura Erekat

Has claimed “you will be marked as antisemites just for supporting Palestine, even though Palestine past and present has admired Judaism as a religion.” She has also characterized palestinian Arab terrorism as “resistance.”

Raja Shehadeh

A founder of Al-Haq, a group whose General Director Shawan Jabarin has been linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.

Lana Tatour

Has written “Israel as a racial regime that is grounded in Zionism’s adoption and internalization of a European conception of race, which positions whites as racially superior to non-whites, and Jews as racially superior to Arabs…It was only outside of Europe that European Jews could finally establish themselves as a superior European white race.”

Nadia Abu El-Haj

Has claimed that Israeli archaeologists searched for an ancient Jewish presence to help build the case for a Jewish state, while destroying remains of other cultures, while also alleging that the ransacking by thousands of Palestinians in 2000 of Joseph’s tomb “needs to be understood in relation to a colonial-national history” of Israel and the symbolic resonance of artifacts.

Bashir Abu-Manneh

Has claimed among other things that Israel’s colonialist agenda, paired with American imperialism, have worked together to dominate the Middle East and prevent democracy in Arab states.

Maha Nassar

Has expressed support for PFLP terrorists.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

Has spread the antisemitic blood libel that Israel is experimenting on palestinian Arab children with new weapons systems.

Huwaida Arraf 

Has a history of making antisemitic slurs and comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

Rosemary Sayigh

Has defended antisemite Ken Loach.

Omar Quattan

Has claimed that antisemite Ken Livingstone was the victim of a “witch hunt” over his comments on Adolf Hitler, and shared an article claiming that Jeremy Corbyn was being subjected to a “contrived anti-Semitism campaign”

Ubai Aboudi

Was sentenced to a year in prison in June 2020 as a PFLP member working in recruitment.

Refaat Alareer

Is an antisemitic terror supporter who, among other things, has engaged in blood libels, and written things like Zionism and Nazism “are two cheeks of the same dirty arse,” and that “most Jews are evil.”

Ines Abdel Razek

Regularly retweets infamous antisemites and terror-supporters like Quds News Network and Mohammed El-Kurd on her Twitter timeline.

Majed Abusalama

Stormed Humboldt University in Berlin to disrupt a talk by Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie and Deborah Weinstein, an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust.

Aimee Shalan

Was active in the virulently antisemitic Facebook group, Palestine Live.

Basman Derawi 

Has written a poem that includes the words “What kind of resistance would you do
if your home was stolen, if your life was merely dough in the hands of someone else? Someone who says his god promised him your land?”

Samar Dahleh

Has shown support for terrorists, compared us to Nazis, and has said “zionists are the ugliest type of people.”

Ayman Nijim

Was a member of the virulently antisemitic Facebook group, Palestine Live.

Leena Barakat

A member (possibly leader) of the terror-supporting, antisemitic organization SJP, who has personally showed her support for terrorism, including suicide bombing.

Nadia Saah

Described by antisemite Roger Waters as his “Dear Friend and comrade.”

Besides these individuals with particularly problematic views, almost all of the signatories are on record opposing the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. So it seems to me that signing this letter is a way to give them “street cred” in supposedly opposing antisemitism, so they can better undermine the best definition of antisemitism we currently have.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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