Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas stripped of French honour over Holocaust remarks

Paris’ mayor has stripped Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the French honour after his antisemitic Holocaust remarks.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has stripped Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the French capital’s highest honour, the Grand Vermeil medal, after he made remarks about the Holocaust that echoed antisemitic tropes, reports the France24. Abbas received the award during a 2015 visit to Paris.

Hidalgo said that Abbas „justified the extermination of the Jews of Europe” during the Second World War. „The comments you made are contrary to our universal values and the historical truth of the Shoah,” wrote Hidalgo in a letter to Abbas.” You can, therefore, no longer hold this distinction.”

Yonathan Arfi, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), an umbrella organisation representing French Jews, published the content of the letter on platform X, formerly known as Twitter, noting that the mayor’s decision „honours Paris and the city’s ongoing commitment against antisemitism”.

Abbas claimed Jews had been murdered in the Holocaust because of their „social role” and not their religion, „because of usury and money,” and went on to claim that it was „not true” that „(Adolf) Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews „. His remarks during a speech last month before senior members of his Fatah party in Ramallah echo antisemitic tropes. A video of the event surfaced this week.

„You (…) justified the extermination of the Jews of Europe during World War II with a clear desire to deny the genocide,” Hidalgo said in the letter, adding that she strongly condemns Abbas’ remarks.


Photo credit: Martin Schulz