White House

White House rebukes Israel’s Netanyahu on Holocaust remarks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in Berlin on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Kerry and Netanyahu called for an immediate end to incitement blamed for a recent deadly wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in Berlin on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Kerry and Netanyahu called for an immediate end to incitement blamed for a recent deadly wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis AP

The White House delivered a rebuke Thursday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial assertion that a Palestinian gave Hitler the plan to wipe out Europe’s Jews.

In a speech in Jerusalem, Netanyahu contended that the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, played “a central role in fomenting the Final Solution,” news reports of the speech said. He later looked to walk back the remarks, which historians and Holocaust survivors assailed as inaccurate and troublesome.

The White House agreed: “I don't think there's any doubt here at the White House who is responsible for the Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews,” principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said, adding the administration would “continue to stress publicly and privately that the importance of preventing inflammatory rhetoric, accusations or actions on both sides can feed the violence. And we believe that inflammatory rhetoric needs to stop.”

Netanyhu’s remarks came amid renewed unrest and a wave of Palestinian stabbings that has roiled Israel for more than three weeks. He was meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin, where the two called for an immediate end to the incitement blamed for the deadly wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

The State Department said the agreed on the need to stop incitement, reduce tension and restore calm. Kerry will meet Saturday with King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Lesley Clark: 202-383-6054, @lesleyclark

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