German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during a press conference, in Berlin, Germany
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during a press conference, in Berlin, Germany
Photo: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas' Holocaust remarks draw outrage in Israel and abroad

PM says history will not forgive PA leader, Yad Vashem Chair Dani Dayan calls comments new low, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he is 'disgusted,' saying, 'relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable'

Ynet, News agencies |
Published: 08.17.22, 09:38
Israeli and international officials across the political spectrum on Wednesday slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over remarks that Israel committed "50 Holocausts" in response to a question about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics.
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  • "Six million Jews, including one and a half million children, perished in the Holocaust, history will not forgive him," said Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
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    אבו מאזן
    אבו מאזן
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "Abbas' remarks about 50 Holocausts, made on German soil, were not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie," Lapid added.
    The comments were made during Abbas' joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who he did not immediately rebuke Abbas for using the term "Holocaust."
    On Wednesday, however, Scholz issued a statement, expressing "disgust" at remarks by the Palestinian president.
    "For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable," Scholz tweeted. "I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas."
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    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during a press conference, in Berlin, Germany
    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during a press conference, in Berlin, Germany
    German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during a press conference, in Berlin, Germany
    (Photo: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)
    Conservative German lawmaker Armin Laschet also expressed outrage at Abbas' comments.
    "The (Palestinian) leader would have gained sympathy if he had apologized for the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics 1972," he wrote on Twitter. "Accusing Israel of '50 Holocausts' instead is the most disgusting speech ever heard in the German Chancellery," he said.
    German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert also denounced Abbas' statement about the Holocaust and said it was unacceptable. "Germany will always stand against any attempt to deny the tremendous dimensions of the crimes committed during the Holocaust."
    The Anti-Defamation League tweeted: "This kind of hateful rhetoric from Abbas is simply unacceptable. There's no justification for invoking the Holocaust when speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - in Germany of all places. He must immediately retract his statement."
    Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan said the statement was "despicable, disgusting and a new low. The German government should respond appropriately to the slurs made inside the Chancellor's Office."
    United States Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism Deborah E. Lipstadt also denounced his remarks, writing on Twitter that "Holocaust distortion can have dangerous consequences and fuels antisemitism."
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    הטבח באולימפיאדת מינכן
    הטבח באולימפיאדת מינכן
    Munich Olympics massacre footage
    (Photo: AP)
    Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Abbas' remarks were a disgrace. "His statement is part of an institutional Palestinian propaganda based on false blood libels, with 50 shades of antisemitism aimed at de-legitimize Israel. Abbas' choice to say his abject remarks on German soil only indicates how low he can go."
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the comments were "an unfortunate and unfounded comparison. One who seeks peace is expected to acknowledge past crimes."
    Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party said on Twitter that "Abbas' Holocaust denial is shocking and dangerous, and the obsessive cooperation of Lapid and Gantz with him and his followers is equally dangerous."
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