From time to time, the Palestinians try to deny the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was known to harbor Nazi sympathies, ever represented the Arabs of Palestine. But to no avail.
In fact, most Arabs in Palestine eagerly awaited Nazi general Erwin Rommel's invasion ahead of the Battle of El Alamein.
Moreover, the first chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Ahmad Shukeiri, said three days before the 1967 Six-Day War that "those who will survive [among the Jews] will remain in Palestine but I don't think any of them will stay alive."
He wasn't the only one who spoke about the mass extermination of Jews. Throughout the three years preceding the war, the Arab League and most Arab leaders declared that their goal was to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth and throw the Jews into the ocean.
The current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is considered a moderate in these terms but despite the ongoing security cooperation with Israel, Abbas channeled his inner al-Husseini earlier this week.
He's not wishing for another Holocaust for Jews. God forbid. He only belongs to the camp that downplays it. Like he did in his infamous doctoral dissertation.
The Holocaust is a sensitive issue for the Palestinians because there is one thing they excel in more than anyone else in the world and that's playing the victim. And their success is astounding.
Every organization in the United States that purports to represent ethnic or gender minorities places the Palestinian issue at the top of its agenda and joins the BDS campaign, whose stated goal is to eliminate Israel. Too often, this antisemitic agenda is laid bare.
Except there's one problem. No matter what angle you examine the Palestinians' short history from, it doesn't hold a candle to the suffering the Jewish people have endured in the previous century.
This is frustrating because this is the weak spot of the Palestinians' founding ethos, so every Palestinian representative the world over, and especially Abbas, must dramatize the Palestinians' suffering to mythical proportions.
Abbas was asked if he apologizes for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Palestinian militants. Not only did he not apologize, but he went off on a tangent mentioning massacres committed against Palestinians and closed his remarks by comparing what Israel had done to "50 Holocausts".
There were indeed several such exceptional instances, which are a disgrace, and they were condemned outright — something that the Palestinians never managed to muster the decency to do. Instead of condemnation, they get encouragement and funding.
But the Palestinian leader forgot he was not giving a speech in Tehran. He was speaking in Berlin, at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Abbas' remarks are a particularly distorted version of the relativization of the Holocaust that was at the heart of the debate between historians in 1980s Germany. Some argued that other atrocities took place at the same time as the Jewish Holocaust, like the actions of USSR leader Joseph Stalin that killed many, many millions, and that the Germans were victims themselves.
However, any German with an iota of decency nowadays rejects outright such comparisons that try to downplay the Holocaust and absolve the Germans of those dark days.
Coming from Abbas, this relativization is both despicable and ridiculous because even if Israel had tried, it would not have been able to do to the Palestinians a fraction of what the Allies did to the Germans at the end and after World War II.
I'm not talking only about the indiscriminate carpet bombing of Dresden, but also the mass deportation of more than 12 million Germans, which included countless massacres — a German Nakba, if you will. A Nakba of the aggressor and the Arabs in 1948 were definitely the aggressor that wished to exterminate the other side.
This ethos that downplays the Holocaust, overstates the Nakba and nurtures Jew-hatred is an outgrowth of the Palestinian education system.
The results speak for themselves — Palestinians rank first in the world in antisemitism. According to a 2014 Anti-Defamation League poll, about 93% of Palestinians harbor antisemitic views.
It was the same year Prof. Mohammed Dajani Daoudi of East Jerusalem's Al-Quds University visited Auschwitz with a group of Palestinian students — a great step toward understanding and reconciliation.
The problem is that he was kicked out of The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees and his own university disowned him. It was the first and last visit of its kind.
So no, it's not the occupation, which could have ended if the Palestinians were willing to live alongside Israel rather than in lieu of Israel. And no, it's not the Nakba. Tens of millions went through their own Nakbas, and none are constantly seeking vengeance, playing the victim and perpetuating the displacement of their own people.
It all boils down to education. And who is funding it? Mostly the European Union, and Germany, with nearly $30 million in 2021. The funding was halted for a short period due to the incitement and antisemitism in Palestinian textbooks uncovered by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), but that did not deter the Palestinians.
The Europeans ultimately capitulated in June and reinstated funding for antisemitic education.
It's certainly nice that German Chancellor Scholz, albeit belatedly, issued a stern condemnation of Abbas' remarks and after the backlash, Abbas himself walked back his Holocaust faux pas, stopping short of an apology.
But it's about as helpful as flogging a dead horse. You want reconciliation? You want peace? Cut the funding for Jew-hatred. It might take a bit longer but if the funding of this hateful propaganda doesn't stop, it will never happen.