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Abbas Backtracks “Holocaust” Statement after Backlash

August 18, 2022

by: Kate Norman

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After receiving criticism from around the world, Mahmoud Abbas withdrew his statement that Israel had committed “50 Holocausts”

Thursday, 18 August 2022 | After drawing backlash from his statement in Berlin that Israel has committed “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinian people, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement to backtrack.

Abbas, during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Sholz in Berlin on Tuesday, told a reporter, “I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed in 50 Palestinian villages…50 massacres, 50 slaughters, 50 holocausts.”

A reporter had asked Abbas about the upcoming anniversary of the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. The massacre was carried out by the Palestinian terror group Black September, which was tied to Abbas’s Fatah political party. The reporter had asked Abbas whether he would apologize to Israel and Germany for the massacre.

Abbas’s answer drew backlash from Israel and around the world. Ynetnews reported that Abbas received a phone call from Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s office, demanding that the PA leader renounce his statement, which Gantz later confirmed.

Abbas issued a statement published yesterday on WAFA news site reaffirming “that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in modern human history,” and “stressing 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.

“What is meant by the crimes that President Mahmoud Abbas spoke about are the crimes and massacres committed against the Palestinian people since the Nakba [Arabic term for “Day of Catastrophe,” the day the modern state of Israel was reborn in 1948] at the hands of the Israeli forces,” the statement added.

Though Sholz did not respond to Abbas’s declaration during the press conference, though he did visibly grimace during the statement, the German chancellor later tweeted his condemnation.

“I am disgusted by the outrageous remarks made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” Sholz tweeted in German, English and Hebrew. “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.”

Abbas’s words also drew backlash from Jerusalem’s leadership.

Gantz, the son of a Holocaust survivor, condemned Abbas’s words as “despicable and false,” as quoted by the Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, also the son of a Holocaust survivor, wrote on Twitter that “Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ’50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children.”

“History will never forgive him,” Lapid added.

Posted on August 18, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 18, 2022)

Photo Credit: Arild Nybø/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

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