Today, Abbas backtracked through an apology to “people of the Jewish faith.” He denounced “antisemitism in all its forms,” called the Holocaust “the most heinous crime in history,” and reaffirmed his “commitment to the two-state solution.”
Necessary as the apology may be, it is unlikely to erase the effect of his earlier comments. As stated by the European Union, Abbas’ “unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy…will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution.” Indeed, Abbas has given new fodder for the Israeli right-wing mantra that there is “no partner for peace.”
Sadly, the peace camp has received another blow. This is both a disservice to the Palestinian cause and detrimental to Israel’s long-term interests.