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Abbas to French Parliament: “Not one person is against the Jewish religion,” just against those who “steal and occupy our land”; recognizes the Holocaust

Official PA TV Live  |
Official PA TV, excerpt of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech to the French Senate on Feb. 8, 2017

Abbas speaks about the UNESCO resolution of Oct. 13, 2016, which denied the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and said that it was not about religion -Ed.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We emphasize that we are not against the Jewish religion. We honor the Jewish religion. We honor the Bible, Allah's prophet Moses, and all of the prophets. All of the prophets that Almighty Allah sent, including the prophets of Israel, we honor all of them. We are not against the Jewish religion. If one of us were to say that he is against the Jewish religion, he would have committed heresy, he is a heretic, it is impossible. Not one person is against the Jewish religion. We consider what was done to the Jews due to the Holocaust as the most heinous human tragedy, especially [in light of the fact] that we have Jewish Palestinian citizens who are a fundamental part of our Palestinian people, the Samaritan Jews (Sic., Samaritans practice Samaritanism –Ed. See note below) in Palestine, Samaritan Jews who live among them. Nobody can discriminate against them, they live their lives like every Palestinian, enjoy their full rights as the Christian Palestinian and the Muslim Palestinian do. Perhaps you do not know of them. They are a minority called the Samaritan Jews who live in Palestine with us, on the land of Palestine. They have the same rights and the same obligations, no one differentiates them from anything. [They are] members of the [PA] Parliament, the [PA] government, members of everything (Sic., there is no record of any Samaritan who is a current member of the PA – Ed.). Therefore, we repeat that we are not against Judaism, but rather against the ones who occupy us and steal our land."

Samaritans – A small ethno-religious group residing primarily in Holon (in Israel) and in the Samaritan village Kiryat Luza (near Nablus in the West Bank). The Samaritans claim ancestry from the ancient Israelites and adhere to the religious law of Samaritanism. While Samaritanism is closely related to Judaism, there are some fundamental differences. Samaritans refer to the Bible as their sole religious scripture, do not celebrate any Jewish festival that took place after the writing of the Bible (i.e., Channukah, Purim), and consider Mt. Gerizim near Nablus their holiest place (believing this is where Abraham bound Isaac and God instructed them to build the Temple), as opposed to Jews who consider Mt. Moriah (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem their holiest place. No Jewish community today recognizes the Samaritans as an expression of Judaism, and for Samaritans to wed Jewish partners in a traditional ceremony they are required to undergo a full conversion to Judaism.
The Samaritan community numbers roughly 800 members today.

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