The Palestinian president talks about “fifty holocausts by Israel” during a visit to Germany, the police begin an investigation

The Palestinian president talks about "fifty holocausts by Israel" during a visit to Germany, the police begin an investigation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Schulz.AP . image

Abbas visited German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin this week. At a press conference, the president was asked if he was willing to apologize for the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the hands of the Palestinian movement in Black September at the 1972 Munich Olympics — a tragedy, fifty years later, that occurred in Germany this fall. .

Abbas responded that Israel committed “fifty massacres in fifty places between 1947 and until now.” He added: Fifty massacres and fifty holocausts. Until now.’

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Schulz’s face twisted, but he did not contradict Abbas – who is deeply resentful in Germany. The press conference ended quickly. Just a day later, the chancellor tweeted in English, German and Hebrew that he was “disgusted by the obscene comments of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.” Certainly for us Germans, putting the Holocaust into perspective is unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Abbas’ comment “not just a moral blemish, but a brutal lie.” He said, “Six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive Abbas.”

Downplaying the Holocaust is a criminal offense in Germany, and the police have now opened an investigation into Abbas for allegedly reporting him. It remains to be seen if this can also lead to prosecution. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said that although Germany does not recognize Palestine as an independent state, Abbas is making an “official diplomatic visit to the country”. This would give him immunity.

Abbas’ statement

A day later, Abbas came out with a statement about his statement. In it, he did not immediately apologise, but said that the Holocaust is “the most heinous crime in modern human history”, and that he does not intend to deny the uniqueness of the Holocaust. “Abbas added that he was concerned about crimes against the Palestinian population that “continued to this day.”

It is not the first time that Abbas has been accused of anti-Semitism or questioning the Holocaust. This is what he wrote in his book The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism (1983) that Zionist leaders colluded with the Nazis to worsen the situation in Europe, in the hope that this would lead to the emigration of Jews to Palestine. He also stated in this book that perhaps “just” a million Jews or even fewer might have died during the Holocaust. In 2018, he gave a speech in the city of Ramallah in which he said that Jews brought their persecution in Europe with “usury.” He later apologized for this.

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