Addressing a conference of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s Central Council on Sunday, Mr. Abbas declared that "Europeans wanted to bring the Jews here to preserve their interests in the region. They asked Holland, which had the world's largest fleet, to move the Jews."
"Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews" he continued, ignoring the fact that some of Judaism's holiest sites are located in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem; the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron; and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.
Mr. Abbas then turned on the United Kingdom, and in referencing the Balfour Declaration, demanded an apology for the document that ensured a Jewish homeland with Jerusalem as its capital.
Mr. Abbas's speech was part of the Central Council's two-day conference in Ramallah. The Council is the PLO's second most important body and it was convened following President Donald Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his vow to move the U.S. Embassy accordingly.