Leaders condemn Holocaust remarks by Palestinian President
Israeli and German leaders have criticized and expressed outrage after the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas recently accused Israel of committing “50 Holocausts” against the people of Palestine over years. The claim by Mahmoud Abbas was made on Tuesday during a news conference in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Abbas had refused to condemn a deadly attack on Israeli athletes by Palestinian militants at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Instead, Abbas countered by saying he could indicate “50 Holocausts” on Palestinians by Israel.
“I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” Scholz said. “For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also strictly condemned the comments by Abbas as a “disgrace”. “Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ’50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie,” Mr Lapid tweeted. “History will never forgive him.”
Abbas said that “from 1947 until today, Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian villages.” “Fifty slaughters. Fifty Holocausts,” he added.
Following criticism from German and Israel leaders, Abbas appeared to walk back from his comments. In a written statement, Abbas’s office said that “President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirms that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history.” The statement stressed that “his answer was not intended to deny the singularity of the Holocaust that occurred in the last century, and condemning it in the strongest terms.”
Abbas “tramples on the memory of six million murdered Jews and damages the memory of all victims of the Holocaust,” said Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. “Such statements cannot be left uncommented. That a relativization of the Holocaust, especially in Germany, at a press conference in the Federal Chancellery, goes unchallenged, I consider scandalous.”